After she met Jesus, my friend Mary decided to try to build a better relationship with her father. He liked to go deer hunting and he usually went with a party every hunting season. They would hire a guide and spend the week hunting in the mountains of Utah.
When he invited Mary to go with him, she thought it would be a chance to bond with her father. She thought it would make things easier if he had a really good time. What could make a hunting trip more exciting than success in hunting? She prayed earnestly that God would help her father to get a deer. Her father did get a very nice buck, but his response to it was rather matter of fact. Finally it dawned on her that what would really have made him happy would be if she had gotten a deer.
The next year, he invited her to go again. This time she knew what to pray. She prayed that God would help her get a deer. The first day out, the guide stopped the vehicle and pointed to a buck which was standing at some distance. He asked if anyone wanted to take a shot at it. It was a smallish animal and some distance away and most of the hunters demurred. Mary, however, decided to try a shot. Silently asking the Lord to help her, she squeezed off a round and the buck fell dead with one bullet.
Mary’s father was very excited and proud of her. Mary was excited and thanking God for helping her. They tagged and loaded the deer and then went on to another area. This time the guide stationed them at various intervals along a track. He said he would drive some deer down past their position. Soon Mary saw a young buck crossing her field of vision. She took careful aim and brought it down with one bullet.
When the men arrived, her father was very proud that she had gotten another one. Since it was another small one, her father wanted to wait and see if he could get a bigger buck, so he asked if anyone else would like to tag it. There was a young man there who was somewhat fearful of having spent all the expense of the trip and then arriving home without any meat, so he was very happy to put his tag on Mary’s second kill.
After the carcass was loaded, they drove to another area and once again the guide stationed them along the side of a ravine. He said that soon some deer would come down that gully. As Mary sat waiting, she began to feel that the Lord was telling her to leave her position. She felt that she was supposed to go up the hill behind her. Quickly, she obeyed and as she topped the other hill, a huge buck stepped out of cover and exposed himself on the crest of the hill. He was only about 30 feet away from her and he was a huge and beautiful specimen. Being so close and being fearful lest he should run away, Mary fumbled with her gun. It seemed like she was all thumbs. Any second she expected the deer to disappear over the hill, but he stood still. She said it was almost as if he were waiting for her to get her gun up and shoot. In her nervousness, she had trouble with the safety and it took some time to get the gun leveled. Finally, the deer turned his head and looked straight at her as if to say, “Well, why don’t you shoot?”
He continued to stand there and finally she was able to get into position and her bullet went into his neck. He dropped on the spot, but it took one more bullet to finish him. When the men arrived, her Dad was beside himself with joy. He gladly put his own tag on the animal and the guide said it was one of the finest he had seen that year. So far the party had taken 3 animals and Mary had killed them all!
That evening around the campfire, her father was bragging on his daughter. “Next year, I’m only going to give her ONE bullet,” he boasted. Through this experience, Mary was able to draw closer to her father and because of his new respect for her; she was able to share some things about her new life in Jesus.