The first time I saw him, he was sitting stately at our veterinarian’s office. He looked so regal that I didn’t notice his missing leg. When the vet brought it to my attention that he was an amputee, I actually had to count his legs to discover which one was missing.
I knew immediately there was a girl who would love him. And when I told Genesis about him, she couldn’t wait to meet this unique dog. In fact she begged her daddy for days to take her to the veterinarian’s office to meet him. After a week passed my husband stopped one morning as he was walking out the door. He turned around and asked, “How much trouble am I going to be in if I bring home a three-legged dog?” With that one question this gentle giant became part of our family.
Each day when I look at him I smile. I do not see a three-legged dog, instead I see his grand personality coupled with the gratitude and compassion in his eyes.
The book of James talks about judging between rich and poor and how we should not show partiality between the two. It doesn’t matter if a person is a begger or a rich man we should treat both with the same respect. This sweet dog reminds me daily how often we judge people by their outward appearance and how necessary it is to form opinions about others based, not on their looks, but rather their character.
This concept is much easier said than done. Just the other day I had an opportunity to put this into practice. Our family had gone with some friends to get ice cream. When we came outside there were two small benches; one empty and the other occupied by a shabby looking man. All the girls piled on top of one another on the empty bench and as I stood the man on the second bench scooted over and motioned for me to sit down. After I sat, I found myself with a lack of words. I wasn’t sure what to say to this man. And I wondered….. “if” he had been clean cut and looked more “normal” would I have been able to talk with him more freely. At that moment I knew the sad truth….. I am still learning not to judge people based on their outward appearance! I guess this is a lesson I really need to learn because God in His providential plan has brought a friendly three-legged reminder into my life to teach me.