Calf 0-1, or Grace, on the Murdocks’ farm near Echo.

Dear Calf 0-1,

Your mom had a difficult time giving birth to you. In fact, the scar from the C-section will be with her for the rest of her life. A scar to show that both of you are here for a reason this season.

I remember the first time I saw you. You were nestled in a bed of straw, content and without worry. Your mom watched you carefully — protective of you, and cautious of me. Cautious and protective because you are crippled. Your front legs hold you just high enough to nurse and they wobble all sorts of ways when you walk, but they work. They’re just high enough and just strong enough for you to live.

What is just high enough or just strong enough? Is there such a thing or place? I remember thinking to myself time and time again, how and why are you still alive? I questioned Ian’s reason for keeping you mainly because it was so painful for me to watch you move. I caught myself looking away on more than one occasion. Pathetic, but true.

Will you ever run and play like the others? Your steps are labored and hard, and look to be exhausting, yet you do it. You take one step at a time, putting one hoof in front of the other. You are crippled to my eyes, but not to my soul.

You see, there is this amazing thing about looking at things with eyes of faith. Faith in the fact your head does reach just high enough to live. Faith in the fact that you’re no longer in the pen closest to the barn, but now roaming the small pasture below our house with the rest of the herd, wobbly legs and all. Faith — pure, simple, and true in every sort of way.

Who am I to question someone’s crippled state? Am I not crippled myself? Crippled with anxiety of deadlines to meet, and crippled by not meeting the expectations of others? Labored with exhaustion in keeping a household alive and well, all the while trying to remain sane? Struggling to rest in His presence — the place where I need to be most — each and every day?

Unlike you, it seems I am crippled by a lack of faith, and then I remember the story. The story of people responding in faith to Jesus, rewarded by blessings greater than they could imagine. The story found in the Bible in Luke 5:18-25 that gives hope to the crippled man and to his faith-filled friends. It’s a beautiful story of healing, not just of one’s body, but of the soul as well.

You are here, Calf 0-1, grazing with your mama, right below my home, ever-present in my life for a reason. You were born in this winter season to teach me about faith. A faith that believes in the impossible and trusts in that which is unseen to most.

I named you a while back. A name that suits you well. And when I walked to the barn yesterday and caught a glimpse of you trekking up the hillside with your mama, I smiled to myself and then yelled “hello” across the pasture.

“It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it Grace?!”

You looked up at me, and I know you were nodding in agreement, and I swear I heard a whisper in the wind … “It’s a Grace-filled day indeed.”

With thankfulness for you and your determination to truly live,


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