by Tim Smith
The Story: Let me just start this article by admitting something. I'd probably never win an award for being "Mr. Compassionate". For some reason it's just not part of my make-up. For example, if my son got a boo-boo when he was a little fella my wife would pick him up, wipe his tears, wrap him in a big hug, clean his wounds and give him a Scooby-Doo Band-aid. Me, on the other hand, had a completely different approach. I would perform a quick triage from afar. If I determined there were no bones sticking out or stitches required, I encouraged him to "rub some dirt on it and get back in the game." Keep this in mind as we move on.
Last week I had a great opportunity. I would tag along with a friend and film his attempt at a Northern Missouri monster buck. In turn, I would be able to use this footage on a DVD project I'm working on. As we made the drive from Alabama to Missouri it was evident we would approach this hunt with a "No Mercy" attitude. We would pull out every punch in our tactical arsenal and tirelessly hunt every hour of the day on a mission to make some big buck a movie star.
However, on the very first day of our hunt our plan was interrupted. My buddy began to get sick and go down quickly. Whatever he had hit him like Mike Tyson and by noon he was coughing like a seal, shaking like a leaf and was drifting in and out of reality often mumbling something in his sleep that sounded like moo-moo and Honey Boo-Boo. Still stuck in a "No Mercy" frame of mind , I responded with a few encouraging words. I told him to put on another jacket. It would help with the chills. He could also cut down some of that coughing noise by sticking a towel in his mouth just before he let loose.
The Word: On day two my buddy sounded and looked worse. But, he insisted he'd be o.k. and we made our way to the stand. Who was I to argue? He was a grown man capable of making his own decisions. We had a buck to kill.
Around 8:00 a.m. I took a few minutes to read a little Scripture in the stand. Here's what I read:
"There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others.....so you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone." (James 2:13,24).
The words cut me to the core. What was I doing? Why were we still in the stand? The guy next to me was obviously hurting. He needed mercy. He needed compassion. He needed help. He needed a brother. He needed me. My faith certainly hadn't been reflected in my actions.
He agreed to let me take him to the local Emergency Room where they determined he had Influenza Type-A. After his diagnosis we decided it would be best to head home. No deer was worth this. On the way home I did my best to take care of his needs and get him safely home. During the long 14 hour drive I often reflected on the words I had read earlier in the day feeling convicted to my core.
Field Tip: Don't lose sight of the important things in life. Too often as hunters we become consumed with the hunt. Faith, family and friends are the important things in life.
Making Him Known,