Following my early emotionally turbulent and mentally challenging days as a small child with epilepsy, I attended elementary school. I suppose these were some of the more common years of my life. I had the normal adventures of young children, playing on the hill across the street, making mud pies with my sister, pretending to be the Flintstones with our neighbor kids. I was always Barney for some reason. The next strange episode came somewhere in my eighth and ninth years. Believers Faith Center (BFC) was its name. It has left an indelible impression upon my mind. Many a night was spent laying on the floor of the church listening to indiscernible muttering uttered from people desperately hoping for the miracles that Pastor Bill professed would absolutely come to the “true believers.” In the midst of strange babbling, adults falling down on the ground at the mere touch of Pastor Bill, and a bizarre unwillingness to admit the presence of illness, misfortune, hardship of any kind, a small church was enthralled with one man and his oratory prowess. As our commitment to BFC grew, I remember spending six to seven days a week meeting together with my new “brothers” and “sisters.”

One night in particular stands out to me now. Anna attended the services faithfully with us. She was an elderly woman who needed rides to the church from time to time. In the midst of one of these usual nightly rides, we experienced our own miracle. As my father drove down a normal suburban street, something unexpected occurred. A small dog ran out in front of our car. All of our heads jerked forward as my father tried his best to avert the inevitable doom. Thump! “Oh, Jesus,” we all cried. And then it happened. This poor little star struck dog that experienced the full weight of our little, passenger car rose up and walked gingerly back to its home. Anna was praying fervently for the dog. My parents stopped and talked to the owners. We all believed that the dog had been raised from most certain death.

This silly episode now symbolizes an important lesson to me as an adult with a son of my own. Faith is able to create miracles. Whether this dog was doomed and resurrected is immaterial. For all its faults, BFC illustrates a fundamental principle that we all yearn for. Faith is necessary. Faith is a pivotal element of life. How faith is experienced and what its products are entail a tremendous amount of debate from religious adherents of all persuasions. Faith motivates the greatest acts of self sacrifice and the most heinous ones, too. Despite its sordid results, faith preserves a crucial element of humanity. Without faith there is no hope. There is simply cynicism and despair.

My mother is a remarkable woman who largely accepts things as they are presented to her. Although this quality has its faults, it is one of the greatest gifts a person can receive. Christ said that the one with faith like a child is blessed. I concur. Children accept life as it is presented.

As an adult I have realized the real challenge in life comes in discerning where our faith is placed. Pastor Bill had a powerful ability to persuade an audience that faith in his message would transform one’s life. However, misguided he was, he genuinely believed that his God was able to do the impossible in every situation. His God would ward off all ill-will like a tribal deity who merely wanted one’s chicken blood and required devotees to wear talismans or some other magical apparel. Although I have long forsaken the God of Pastor Bill, I have not forsaken God. At least, God has not forsaken me. The God I believe in transcends these petty promises of perpetual health, wealth and prosperity. He lets us experience hardship and loss for the greater good of character formation. But I’m probably getting ahead of myself. For now, I’ll just leave it at resurrected dogs and a dear elderly woman.


Michael Bobo is the author of an unconventional life (from which the above excerpt is taken) and a member of the Burnside Writers Collective.  For more information on Michael, click here.


7 Responses to “Michael Bobo: Resurrected Dogs and Faith”

  1. […] to share a piece that was just published on I welcome you to check it out here and let Colin Burch, the editor, know what you […]

  2. […] to share a piece that was just published on I welcome you to check it out here and let Colin Burch, the editor, know what you […]

  3. […] May 5, 2010 · Leave a Comment Michael Bobo: Resurrected Dogs and Faith « LiturgicalCredo. […]

  4. […] May 5, 2010 · Leave a Comment Michael Bobo: Resurrected Dogs and Faith « LiturgicalCredo. […]

  5. metamorphmind Says:

    does it matter what the object of faith is?

    • I believe it definitely does what we believe in. Inevitably we all believe something. Even atheism is a belief in the nonexistence of God, which is an object – properly speaking. Since faith is fundamental to life, there is a challenge in determining what to believe in. I cannot say that I have it all figured out, but I see Christ as the best option among many.

  6. […] to share a piece that was just published on I welcome you to check it out here and let Colin Burch, the editor, know what you […]

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