Encouragement & Hope
Submitted by Gayle Urban
Each morning, an hour or so after sunrise, I know they’ll soon appear. With quiet movements, the speckled fawn and its mama carefully make their way out into the small meadow, heads down and grazing as they go. They graze on the chicory, clover and the tender shoots of new grass that are plentiful.
Their morning routine is familiar to me this summer, as I watch from the back deck. Surrounding us are the pine-covered hills and secluded creeks that provide a haven for the deer. When they have finished feeding, they move back to the shelter of the hills.
This is the season for mother and her young to bond, to be close. Baby fawn was so wobbly when I first saw it, tripping itself as it followed mama. She was always aware of its presence, allowing it to keep up with her movements. In the open meadow, where vegetation is plentiful and predators are far away, the mama keeps a close watch each morning on her baby. Between quick bites of nourishment she would lift her head and look around, keeping her senses alert. The baby fawn bounces about on long legs, curious and carefree.
On frequent mornings, mama grazes her way to a protected corner of the pasture, her fawn moving with her. There she takes the time to nuzzle her fawn’s neck and they rub heads. In these moments, all her attention is on her little one…she seems to be imparting a message—“Remember this. Follow me.”
Summer days go by and the fawn is growing bigger, more independent. The two still come into the orchard together, but the fawn separates readily, nosing off in its own direction before wandering back near mama.
Then one afternoon, I saw a small group of deer in the orchard. Suddenly, a loud noise startled them and the adult deer, recognizing potential danger, all leaped immediately towards the tree line. The familiar little fawn was not aware and was standing alone as the others ran. Mama deer looked back and darted over alongside her fawn, then whirled and kept on running…and away she ran, her fawn now running closely behind her. “Follow me,“ I thought…she taught well and when the moment of potential crisis came, the fawn knew who to follow.
I think back on my own life and how God’s message, “Follow me,” became consistent. Now, when the potential crisis comes, I know Who to follow.