The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18
“God loves everybody!” I’ve heard it my whole life, but that never ceases to amaze me. For years and years, I saw so many people that I just considered “beyond repair.” To me, they were so messed up that there was no way God could change them. Besides, they didn’t want to be changed, so how could He?
A girl sang a song in church this Sunday about God loving “the broken ones.” As she sang, I was reminded of a story that I had forgotten about, but remember profoundly changed my life at the time. I believe it is a story that helps the lost understand His love for them. There are several versions of this story on the Internet, this one just happens to be my version based on all the versions that I have read and heard.
The story is about a girl named Mary Ann Bird. She was born in 1837 in Brettenham, England. She was born with so many birth defects that she was just not a “normal” looking kid. She had a cleft palate, a crooked nose, and was deaf in one ear just to name a few. This, of course, led to her being tormented by the other kids in the primary grades. It was said that she told other students that she fell and cut her lip on a piece of glass. This was much easier for her to deal with emotionally than to say that she was simply born this way.
Mary Ann had a teacher named Miss Leonard. Miss Leonard was the most popular teacher in the school. All the students loved her and wanted to be her “pet.” One day they were having the annual hearing test. Back then, the teacher did the test and would simply have the students cover one ear, and would whisper words softly for the students to repeat. Mary Ann would always “cheat” by cupping her hand over her good hear so she wouldn’t “fail” yet another test and hear that something else was wrong with her. Usually the teacher would say something like “the sky is blue” or something general like that. On this particular day, Miss Leonard said seven words that absolutely changed Mary Ann’s life. She whispered, “I wish you were my little girl.” This acceptance by her teacher changed her life. To be accepted by someone despite her deformities made all the difference in the world.
So it is with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Maybe you are all messed up. Maybe you are letting the wrong voices define who you are. You may be one of the broken people nobody seems to want. You may think there is nobody out there that could ever love you and accept you just as you are. Yet, there is a God who is constantly calling out to every breathing person saying five little words that could change their lives.
“I wish you were mine.”
He will always love the broken ones.