It’s been awhile since I’ve seen deer in daylight. They feed at night, wandering the mountains and highways freely. For most of the summer they were invisible, until a motorist hit one of them. Around here, I only knew they came to visit by their eating habits. They obligingly ate all the leaves from my “bean-stalk” dandelions. But it’s deer season now, and they seem to know they’re safe here on the mountain, so they’ve come to visit until the snows set in.
Tonight, coming home from Christ Community Church, I passed them grazing in a neighbor’s yard. I said hello to them, and they lifted their heads, moving toward the car. Someone else has been feeding them, I think. They seemed very friendly for wild animals.
They have been an enduring sign to me of God’s love for me. They show up when I need to feel connected to nature and His universe. A couple of times, as I struggled to get packages down the steps after work at midnight, they went down first and triggered the flood lights. That was a God thing. Security lights only attract them, because it helps them see the feeding areas better.
They feel like my guardian angels, showing up to comfort, encourage, and reassure me that my Father’s looking after me, when I’m feeling “orphanish.”
He makes me laugh on the way to church, because all along the road, past the prison to our campus, there are groundhogs, standing upright at their holes, offering a neighborly greeting as I drive by. One of our pastors joked that those groundhogs are really working for the prison inmates, digging tunnels. There sure are dozens of them.
One day at lunchtime, I saw a skinny, sorry-looking fox making his way across the road to “groundhog gulch.” He was beautiful too, in a scruffy sort of way, like a very hungry varmint on his way to a banquet.
He makes me sure-footed as a deer; he keeps me safe on the mountains. (Psalm 18:33)
As a deer longs for a stream of cool water, so I long for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1)
But it is not just creation alone which groans; we who have the Spirit as the first of God’s gifts also groan within ourselves as we wait for God to make us his children and set our whole being free. (Romans 8:23)
Paul confuses me with this verse.