The Whisper Test

whisper test This morning as I was walking in to church to put the final touches on my sermon, I ran into our worship leader.  He said:  “Do you want to hear the most freeing truth of all?  There is absolutely nothing I can do, good or bad, that will change God’s heart of love for me!  He is love, that will never change.”

He’s right.  That may be the most freeing truth of all.  Oh that many more people would come to this epiphany!  This week, I reconnected with a story that I had read years ago.  Author Mary Ann Bird tells of a life changing encounter with love.

“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 classmates 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?”  I waited there for those words that God must have put into her mouth.  They were seven words that changed my life. 

Mrs. Leonard said in her whisper, “I wish you were my little girl”

God is love.  According to I John 3:1, He lavishes love on us.  There is nothing you can do that will make Him love you more.  There is nothing you can do that will make Him love you less.  Today, let Him heal your cleft heart.

This IS the most freeing truth of all.


About Rich Stevenson

Rich is the Executive Director of The Malachi Network (, a ministry focused on making the name of the LORD great among the nations. This network serves young leaders in missions and church planting. Prior to his present ministry, Rich pastored in Southern New Jersey, planted a church in Wilmore, KY, established a network of churches, served as an adjunct professor at Asbury College and was a senior leader at The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO as well as The International House of Prayer in Atlanta, GA. Rich is the author of two books: Secrets of the Spiritual Life—10 Lessons from the One Thing Passages (Baker Books, 2003) A Voice from Home—The Words You Long to Hear from Your Father (WaterBrook Press, 2005) He graduated from Asbury College in 1984 with a BA degree in Philosophy of Religion and Asbury Theological Seminary in 1987 with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2010, Rich received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Union Biblical Seminary in Yangon, Myanmar. Rich has been married to Tania since 1982 and they have been blessed by amazing children: Zachary and his wife Meghan, Jacob and his wife Lena, Jessica and Corrie Emma.
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