I held my breath. The little yearling dear, two feet away from the kitchen window, looked right into my eyes. His gauntness accentuated the size of his liquid brown eyes, and in those long seconds I felt a love almost as deep as the first day I held my daughter in my arms. I love animals, but I had never felt like I was looking soul to soul into one’s eyes like I did now.
His look was so trusting, so desperate, so pleading. I had just spent the previous 30 minutes caring for the horses, weeping the entire time, looking down toward the fence every few minutes where the deer leaned against the wire and then laid down, too weak to move. When I had gone inside he must have come up to the house.
He nibbled on flowers and licked the concrete where water had run off from watering the collection of flowers and plants in pots. As I kept working in the kitchen, he again came and stood close to the window and stared, again, a very long time. The tears flowed again and so did my prayers.
We were many miles outside Austin, where I help a retired lady care for her horses. “Oh, dear Father, please do something for that little deer. Either heal it or take it home or let someone come take away its pain and take it home to You, Lord. Please, Lord, please, don’t let it suffer. It is so innocent and so trusting and so fragile. I know You love animals, Father. Your concern for them is all throughout Your Word.”
Two days ago, my employer had said it was surely dying and probably was diseased. She said when does had new babies they often ran off the yearlings and this seemed to be the case. I had seen a buck, a doe and three fawns the day before standing, framed like a painting by the morning mist, walking away from their night-time nibbling toward the cover of thick bushes and trees.
I think I will see that little yearling’s eyes for the rest of my life. Later that day, much much later that day, when I had finally managed to fully trust God to take care of His precious little deer, I finally understood what God was saying.
If it crushed my heart to see that little deer suffer, and to know that more suffering surely lay ahead for it, how unimaginably more had God hurt to see His Son Jesus suffer? If I felt that little animal’s soul look into mine, what had God the Father felt when His Son looked at Him and pleaded, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine.” (Matthew 26:39b, NLT). How did God feel when He watched His pure, innocent Son suffer and die so terrible a death – all that I might know Him?
How dare I ever forget this lesson? How dare I ever neglect any chance I have to tell another suffering human soul of the great love our Heavenly Father has all His beloved humans, the crown of all His creation?