Author Mary Ann Bird shared this powerful true story in her book, The Whisper Test.
I grew up knowing I was different, and I hated it. I was born with a cleft palate, and when I started school, my classmates made it clear to me how I looked to others: a little girl with a misshapen lip, crooked nose, lopsided teeth, and garbled speech.
When schoolmates asked, “What happened to your lip?” I’d tell them I’d fallen and cut it on a piece of glass. Somehow it seemed more acceptable to have suffered an accident than to have been born different. I was convinced that no one outside my family could love me.
There was, however, a teacher in the second grade that we all adored—Mrs. Leonard [was her] name. She was short, round, happy—a sparkling lady.
Annually we had a hearing test…. Mrs. Leonard gave the test to everyone in the class, and finally it was my turn.
I knew from past years that as we stood against the door and covered one ear, the teacher sitting at her desk would whisper something, and we would have to repeat it back—things like “The sky is blue” or “Do you have new shoes?” If the student repeated the phrase successfully, he or she passed the test.
(To avoid the humiliation of failing the test, Mary Ann would try to cheat by cupping her hand around her good ear so she could still hear what the teacher said. But she didn’t need to the year she had Miss Leonard, the most beloved teacher in her school.)
“I waited for those words,” said Mary Ann, “which God must have put into her mouth, those seven words which changed my life.” Miss Leonard didn’t choose a random phrase. Instead, she leaned across the desk, got as close as she could to Mary Ann’s good ear, and whispered, “I wish you were my little girl.”
How beautiful those 7 words must have sounded to Mary Ann! In 1965 Hal David and Burt Bacharach wrote “What the world needs now is Love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.” More than mere romantic love, the world needs the unlimited and unconditional agape love of Jesus Christ. As a church, we are called to be His hands and feet to reach out to lost, hurting and broken people. Let us reach out with Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness. May we Love God, Love People and Serve the World.
Christ’s love met you in your greatest need and continues to sustain and uphold you. His love is transforming you each and every day. And what Christ does to you, He wants to do through you. Will you let His love reach out through you to meet others in their greatest need? Let His love – through you – transform their lives. Who knows what a kind word or loving deed can mean to someone who is hurting? Love like Jesus!
This Sunday, February 21, I want to share the District theme for 2021: "Take a Stand!" In a world that is increasing in darkness and pushback, how should we live? As a Christian, what should we do?
If you are not able to join us in person in the building at 10:35am for worship, please join us online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Search: Honolulu AG). It will also be uploaded later that day to our website (honoluluag.org) and YouTube channel (Search: Honolulu Assembly of God).
What a wonderful Annual Meeting we had last Sunday! There is a beautiful spirit of unity here and we had the privilege to welcome 6 new members. The Lord is moving at Honolulu Assembly of God!
Chris and Lindsey Carter, missionaries to Japan, will be with us on Sunday, March 14, in both the 9:30am Adult Bible class plus the 10:35am worship service. Please don’t miss their exciting report of what the Lord is doing in that wonderful nation.
Aloha and Aloha ke Akua!