In her memoir, “The Whisper Test,” author Mary Ann Bird shares this emotionally moving true story from her childhood.
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. The teasing words of classmates left emotional scars. I was convinced that no one outside my family could love me.
There was, however, a teacher in the second grade whom we all adored – Mrs. Leonard. 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?”
I waited there for the words that God must have put into her mouth, those seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard whispered to me, “I wish you were my little girl.”
The Lord says to every person who has been deformed by sin, “I wish you were my son! I want you to be my daughter!” How do we know this is true? Because over and over and over in the Bible God tells us that. He loves us. He desires us for His own. He has chosen us. No matter what you’ve done, no matter who you are, Jesus loves you. And He was willing to go to the Cross to prove it.
Salvation makes us part of His forever family. What an incredible privilege! You are not just a forgiven sinner; you are now a son and daughter of the Lord! And He calls us to spread the message of redemption and adoption to others. Salvation is not just for you and for me; it is also for those who do not yet know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Why? Because what the Lord does To you, He also wants to do Through you. Salvation is too important, too life-changing to keep to ourselves. We must share the Good News with others.
We are called to be Ambassadors for Christ and Ministers of Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Through salvation, Jesus makes you a new creation; as a result, the old is gone and the new is come. And He partners with you to declare this life-transforming message to the world: “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God” (v20). What an amazing assignment! What an amazing calling! Are you ready?
This Sunday, January 15, we will continue our new series, “Welcome to the House”, with the glorious truth that we are called to be A House of Salvation. Our message to all is this: You can be Redeemed, and have Hope for today and Joy for all eternity. We must share the incredible Good News of Salvation with everyone we meet. Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am either in the building or online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream every Sunday to both locations.
The “Joy of Belonging” classes for current and new members will continue this Sunday in the 9:30am Adult Bible Class with the marvelous Story of the Church. If you are interested in, or simply curious about, membership, this series of classes is for you. By attending the classes you are not obligating yourself to membership, but you must attend the classes in order to become a member. The Annual Meeting for members is coming up on February 12.
Aloha ke Akua!