Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Six Bucks and Counting

Six Bucks and Counting
From the driver's seat with my cell phone camera. 
By Brenda Black

Some guys pride themselves in being “chick magnets.” Well, I can top that! I attract the bucks. Now either these massive, gorgeous fellas are helplessly drawn by the Jovan Musk scent I'm wearing or they know I'm not packing a gun. Six times in the past week, I've come nearly nose to nose with Missouri's regal rack-bearing cervine. Granted a couple of the golden giants have been in full-tilt flight and 75 yards away, but the ones I've seen so near I could chuck a rock, have caused me to stop and marvel.

Standing at the fence, face to face.
Oh for my good camera that would have reflected
the nearness and beauty of this big buck.
Most die-hard deer hunters this past week got up on gusty and frigid mornings and traipsed through the dark to climb 20 feet into the air, and sit on a metal seat the size of a postage stamp. I, on the other hand, have been enjoying deer scenery during a drive or country jog and while gazing out the window of my heated, ground-level office.

The most recent encounter had me chuckling. There he lay, in plain site, not 40 yards from me. After the double take, I stopped the car and put her in reverse. He never moved. He just lay there chewing his cud and sunning. I rolled down my window and lifted the only proof-maker in my possession – the camera on my cell phone. Since he didn't budge, I thought maybe he was wounded. Curiosity opened the car door and I stepped up a short embankment, barely camouflaged by a scrawny cedar and some straggling brush. I did not creep. I just walked up to the fence line as if to greet a backyard neighbor. He looked me over, kept chewing his cud while a snapped and saved a few more shots. Finally, he decided it was time to stand. We assessed one another for a smattering of seconds before he trotted slowly, and quite without injury, into the timber. Thank You, God! How beautiful and priceless.

His casual exit. I cannot explain his lack of panic,
nor can I explain why my cell phone
made the picture blue.  
Now, I say this with the utmost respect for Missouri's outdoor sportsmen. The contents of my freezer and the trophy mounts from successful hunts by my sons are evidence I believe in the legal harvest of venison. But this time, in radiant daylight, along a gravel road, it was not about a kill, but about life.

Life: it comes and goes. We change and grow. It aches and achieves; grieves and adores. Life as we know it never is certain. And life is filled with blessings and curses. While I've been counting bucks this past week, I've been counting the cost of decisions I make and counting the days as fleeting and fragile. Though I'd like to lie in the sun and feel no threat as Mr. Buck did, I know that life is short and the world is not such a safe place. But there is something to be said for quiet confidence in the midst of uncertain times. And to this buck who acted brave and calm in the height of firearm season, I'd like to say, “Thanks for modeling such a noble attitude.”

“In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men. For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you... But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.” (Psalm 71:1-6, 14-15)

With what days I am given, I hereby profess I will spend as many as possible soaking up the SON and chewing on the Word of God with quiet confidence. I'm counting on the truth that God knows all and God knows best. And sometimes He gives us the most unusual peace so we can lie down and just rest, no matter the circumstances.

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