Mary Ann Bird was born with multiple birth defects. She suffered not only from her physical impairments but also with the emotional trauma of being "different" from others. Here is her story in her own words from her personal memoirs entitled "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 whom we all adored -- Mrs. Leonard by 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?' I waited there for those words that God must have put into her mouth, those seven words that changed my life. Mrs. Leonard said, in her whisper, 'I wish you were MY little girl.'"
The Deformity that is Sin
Because of our sin, YOU and I are in a dreadful condition -- not because we are different from others, for ALL of us share this common malady (Romans 3:23). The prophet Isaiah described our condition well: "ALL of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6).
Yet because of His GREAT love for us, God says to you and me, "I wish you were My child." And, because of His GREAT love for us, He has provided a way for us to be cleansed from our sins and "adopted" into His family. This provision came at a terrible price: the death of His Son, Jesus, on a cruel cross. "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive ... the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4,5).
God redeems us and "adopts" us into His family when we:
*have faith in Christ (Acts 16:31),
*turn from our sins in repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9,10),
*confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9,10),
*and are baptized (immersed) for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38, 22:16).
Then, as His "children" we are instructed to follow in the steps of Jesus for the rest of our lives (1 John 1:7).
It doesn't matter how badly you have messed up your life. God's wish -- His desire -- is for YOU to become His child.
Your acceptance of His offer will change your life -- forever!