WISDOM
The Whisper Test

07/12/2013

One Person Can Make a Difference

When we turn on our TVs or open our newspapers, we can be overwhelmed by the darkness:  the news is filled with stories of war, murder, rapes, child abuse, people losing their homes and retirements, and on and on . . . It is easy to feel pessimistic and think, “The darkness is too great.  I can’t possibly make a difference . . .I don’t even know where to start . . .”

The following story reminds me and you that one person can make a difference:

Mary had grown up knowing that she was different from the other kids and she hated that.  Mary had been born with a severe cleft palate and had to hear the jokes-the stares of cruel children who teased her non-stop.  With her misshapen nose, her crooked lip and her labored speech – with all that teasing—Mary grew up believing that no one, except her family, could ever love her.

That is until she entered Mrs. Lenard’s 4th grade class.  Mrs L had a warm smile – shinning face – warm brown hair. While everyone in the class liked her, Mary LOVED her.

In those days it was common for teachers to give their children an annual hearing test.  Remember those?  This was an added burden for Mary’s life because in addition to the cleft palate she could barely hear out of one of her ears.  So determined not to let the children have another limitation of hers to point out, she would cheat on the annual hearing test.

The whisper test, it was called was given by having a child come to the class room door turn sideways- close 1 ear with a finger and then repeat something that the teacher whispered in the other ear.  Well when it was Mary’s turn – she turned her bad ear toward the teacher and just pretended to cover her good ear.  Usually the teacher would whisper something like, “Is the sky blue?” or “What color are your shoes?

NOT on that day.  Surely God put those 7 words in Mrs. Lenard’s mouth that day.  The 7 words that changed Mary’s life.  Mrs. Lenard said, “I wish you were my little girl.”

Now today, Mary went on to run a large special educational program, and when a reporter asked her what was her inspiration for her work of helping thousands of children.   Mary pointed to Mrs. Lenard and her 7 words.  Mary said, “From the day I heard those words, I knew who I was.  I was a beloved child and I wanted every troubled child to know who they are to.

Today Mary makes a huge difference in God’s world.  She is light in this sometimes dark world.  Each person listening has power to also bring light into someone’s life today!  Maybe you can whisper in someone’s ear, “You are special.  I love you!”