A recent Associated Press article told about a dog who was born without front legs! Abused and abandoned by her mother, she was rescued around Christmas 2002 and adopted by English professor Jude Stringfellow.
Ms Stringfellow named the puppy, FAITH. The article reports that, at first, the family had to carry Faith to keep her from just dragging on the floor. But after a period of training, the dog learned to walk upright on the two remaining legs.
According to Faith’s official web site,
When Reuben [Ms Stringfellow’s son] brought Faith to us she had 3 actual legs, but the left front leg was badly deformed, placed backward, upside down, and it had more toes on it than normal dog legs. The leg was removed when she was 7 months old when it began to atrophy. People ask me if it was easy to teach Faith to walk upright…the answer is NO! It was not easy, and it was not natural. It was SUPER natural, and therefore, we have to give all of the credit to Jesus. Of course, it took a little….Faith as well.
The AP article states, “Faith is [now] a brisk, upright walker.” She runs and skips and rarely falls. Just look at the photos and you can see that she is a VERY unusual dog.
Faith is now a widely known inspiration. She & Ms Stringfellow tour the country with a message of hope and encouragement – especially for those who have also suffered great loss. Her mission is stated on her official website, “Faith was born for a reason. I believe it was to first heal my family from sorrow and sadness, and this allowed us to help her fulfill another mission – – to help as many as possible.”
The AP article describes how Faith and Ms Stringfellow visit military bases and hospitals with encouraging words and happy barks. Some of the better stories…
For many, Faith brings a powerful message about overcoming adversity. “Faith has shown me that different is beautiful, that it is not the body you are in but the soul that you have,” Jill Salomon of Montreal, Canada, wrote on Faith’s Web site.
Stringfellow will never forget a woman from New York who happened to see Faith on a street corner. She was depressed and had lost both legs to diabetes.
“She was in her wheelchair and saw us. She was crying. She had seen Faith on television. She just held her and said she wished she had that kind of courage.” Stringfellow said. “She told us: ‘I was on my way to pick up the gun.’ She handed the pawn ticket to a police officer and said she didn’t need it anymore.”
So what hardship have YOU experienced? Have you OVERCOME your difficulty? Have you learned that faith walks – not just in this wonderful story – but in everyday life. All of us can, by keeping our faith in Christ, become BETTER because of our adversity. The alternative is to become bitter – each of us must choose.