Deer, Oh Dear…….Death and Fear

fallen fawn “Oh, Deer”….I thought as I approached. I slowed Pearl to a hault on the uneven, dirt pocked lane, two tires in a rut of risidual demolition. At least the lane was dry, not muddy.  My eyes would not be dry for long. It was not for this well despised, ill repaired road that I was concerned about.  It wasn’t the outcome of  a secondary water pipeline WINTER PROJECT that left me slack, and open-mouthed…..that left me looking at and slowing down for.  NO, not a ditch malady! Well, maybe at first. Then there was another curiousity that caused me to be struck dumb and  in a thought rut for a moment. Grrr. That pipe project was a shady, political move, but a MOVE none-the-less, at the expense and inconvenience of resident landowners who are rarely communicated to.  UNBELEVIEVABLE best sums up the experience we’ve had to endure: plowed down mailboxes, clipped power and cable lines, mudbogs, reckless frontloader drivers. The list goes on. Just last Friday afternoon was the first day on NO SWIM TEAM PRACTICE. This felt weird. When I finally made myself go home, leaving tired thoughts of naughty kids,  a beloved school void of laughter, friends, and a good work behind, I sped home. When arriving at Home Sweet Home,  I found a trackhoe in the front yard.  I could only shake my head again, puzzled at the machine haunched over a gaping hole near our drainfield, and a newly set concrete air intake vent across the road where our teens and their friends typically park.  This newest addition was for “the project,” the one we are NEVER CONSULTED OR INFORMED ABOUT!  What a mess. More of the same.  The negativity was pointless. It always is. I snapped back to reality as chidren approached my car with something to say.  I couldn’t help but smile at the neighbor boys and the high school principal’s kids  huddled around something small and furry.  It was a fawn. It was either hit by a car or had gotten tangled up in Vern’s fenceline in an attempt to clear it in search of its mother.  I have seen several deer wrestle barb wire only to meet a fatal outcome. Even those creatures who are free and clear of the wicked wire, often go down and never get up again.  The creatures die alone, full of  fear. “Was it hit?” I asked. “It has a broken leg,” said the oldest neighbor boy, about 11 yrs. “We called animal control!”  the other freckled faced youngster proudly announced. “The dog catcher was just ahead of me.  She made the curve only moments ago. I don’t think she saw you.” I said. “They will probably just put it down.” said another boy, acting a little too excited. Sigh. “They may turn around at the church.  They probably saw us huddled down here.” said the older girl, my daughter’s grade. “It’s going to die.  It’s the best thing to put it down.” said the freckled faced boy again, smililng a little too much. “That’s sad. You kids don’t want to be around to see that,” I added.  I half-smiled, waved, and drove away wondering what would ensue.  Would animal control respond? Doubted it.  Nothing for them to gain here. This got me thinking about wounded wild things, hurts, and reponses. Today at church, the pastor gave a sermon on “Friendship.” I believe Friendship is rooted in Giving- Love as spoken of by C.S. Lewis.  Friendship along with wisdom are invaluable things to be sought after, and a wise, faithful friend, a blessed treasure. The pastor explored scriptures addressing the Godly feelings and actions required to  grow and maintain Friendship.  I am fairly clueless in these ways. Sometimes I get it right though.  There were six or more bulleted points on the smart screen presentation. Just prior to the sermon was an announcement of a new movement coming to the membership  called the “Stephen Ministry.”  It is an outreach training designed to teach people to more effectively respond in Good Samaritan ways, empathetically as Christ would minister to those who are hurting from the inside out. This repsonder course sounds beautiful to me, and even more precious than EMS with all it’s knowledge, technology, lights and sirens.  I thought of what the pastor said, “Jesus is not impressed with loud, impressive people and impressive things. I thought of a comment I made to a co-worker not long ago.  I had handed off two suicide prevention dvds required for teacher recertification.  I also added my own two cents and a brief disclaimer. I  explained the films basically help one to recognize signs of someone in trouble. “It tells you to stop and to listen as a friend would,” I said.  “It’s basic friendship stuff.” I wonder now, if I heard someone’s cry for helf in considering and making suicide plans, would I know what to say and to do?  I didn’t know these things when my mother was crying out. The Stephen Ministry flyer read and resonated with the same message of “How to be……a FRIEND.”  My interest was peaked for sure.  My whole life I have wanted to be a friend and to have a dear friend.  I have wondered and wanted someone to explain human mysteries to me such as these.  I think best practices are best modeled and best lived out by the Son of God.  They are retold in Bible stories of  Him healing those in need. We are to take note and follow Him in His ways. Some succeed in loving and living to tell their good news.  They are often prophets, but not always. Sometimes they are children, or commoners, even Publicans, and tax collecting tree climbers. 🙂 These are the stories of great faith that my mother read to me as a child. I have alway wondered…..how this state of Godly action is achieved by ordinary individuals, not the ones raised up in books and news reports. More the quiet individuals whose kind words and actions set themselves apart from those who only talk, and pretend in lacking motivation and feeling. I wonder about the back story, and what influenced their becoming good. Talk is cheap. Action requires risking the heart,  inconveniencing self will, and sometimes interupting business as usual.  It is bound to begin in a heart space…..in a social, spiritual presence that is not easy to obtain or maintain in a busy, noisy world.  Requires God’s power, sometimes unseen angels,  and largely the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. It is relational, and  requires  faith and desire on the part of both the responder and the receiver.  It is the stuff of miracles. Once felt…..it is undeniablly true, powerful and confirming toward Heaven on Earth. I want to see this work in the lives of individuals I know who are hurting….a student in my class who suffers.  She lives the Mosaic Law rather than the Golden Rule.  A homebound, retired, broken-down, diabetic busdriver friend who would just as soon die as live.  A student in the hospital beginning chemotherapy for bone cancer. My sister who is recovering from surgery, but whose heart aches in holding hidden hurts unrelated to a gall bladder surgery. She wants to quit the income-making job she hates to start her young family, and just be a mom at home.  I want to see friendship work in my life too. I think……How can I be a friend?  How can I be a Sister? How can I be a Mom? Or remain a teacher? The longer I attempt, the less I think I know, and the worse I feel some days. Some days I feel pretty good  though as I turn to gratitude and His Grace.  Somehow God will teach me how to do all things. I think about the fawn.  At three p.m it was still alive as I passed the curious, empathetic children on my way home.  At four p.m. it was still alive, though the children had dispersed to dinner.  At 7:3o p.m., in the cold dark night, on the way home from preparing in my classroom, I stopped to check, and to be with it.  I left a warm car running, and a daughter looking on, as I inched close to touch the cold, hairy baby with a gentle nudge of my foot.  It was gone. Don’t even know what I would have done other than pray for peace.  I think it died broken legged, but more likely broken in being afraid and broken hearted. I am convinced it died of fright. It’s fears consumed it.  I have seen this happen to a powerful four point mule deer buck only yards from our haybarn. It was senseless.  With wire cutters my husband set it free, but all the impressive specimen could do was fall and flop on the ground.  It never got up again. This emotion is not unique to injured deer.  I believe people die of fright too.  Grandma fell and broke her arm.  She had osteo arthritis.  Her bones would not heal.  She contracted pnemonia.  She was gone within a month.  Unreal…to think she died of a broken arm after tripping on a chair in the front room. More likely she longed for Grandpa. People who live with consuming fears,  lead fearful, half-dead lives.  It is not good….it is lonely….it is a slow, dark, painful existence.  God wants his children to be happy, and to walk in the light of His Love and Grace. It is only achieved in mastering oneself.  Requires getting outside of your own head and free from self centered drama.  Self control requires giving the invaluable to others. I will not forget the sight of that fawn for some time, but I hope I will remember to be more of a friend to those most needing my love this week.

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About hrobertson2013

“Each man ( and mermaid) will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land”. Isa 32:2 NIV Warning: The author of this blog is not an ordinary individual. Even Mermaids need a rest from all that's real and grown up. Welcome to the wonder of blog. Come be audience to all that's wet and wild in her stories, poems and thoughts. Instructor by day, super hero by night, and mystical mermaid by summer. Whenever she has the fortune of diving into a pond, reservoir, or mountain waterfall, you'll find her there swimming, and singing songs of life.
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