The power of motivating words

A story is told about a little girl named Mary who was born with a cleft palate. Mary had to bear the jokes and stares of cruel children who teased her non-stop about her misshaped lip, crooked nose, and garbled speech. With all the teasing, Mary grew up hating the fact that she was “different”. She was convinced that no one, outside her family, could ever love her…until she entered Mrs. Leonard’s class.

Mrs. Leonard had a warm smile, a round face, and shiny brown hair. While everyone in her class liked her, Mary came to love Mrs. Leonard. In the 1950’s, it was common for teachers to give their children an annual hearing test. However, in Mary’s case, in addition to her cleft palate, she was barely able to hear out of one ear. Determined not to let the other children have another “difference” to point out, she would cheat on the test each year. The “whisper test” was given by having a child walk to the classroom door, turn sideways, close one ear with a finger, and then repeat something which the teacher whispered. Mary turned her bad ear towards her teacher and pretended to cover her good ear. She knew that teachers would often say things like “The sky is blue,” or “What color are your shoes?” But not on that day, Surely, God put seven words in Mrs. Leonard’s mouth that changed Mary’s life forever. When the “Whisper test” came, Mary heard the words: “I wish you were my little girl.”

In the same way sometimes the words from a father can powerfully set the course of a life. Words from God can pull us out of the pits of fear, despair and shame. God is whispering in your ear right now. “I wish you were my child.”

Joe