As soon as we arrived home I called our insurance company, researched car collision centers, and began the two and a half week wait for my car to be repaired. I soon discovered these inconveniences were insignificant.
“What just happened?” I asked with a puzzled expression as I heard a “whump” and then the sound of metal dragging on the roadway as I fought for control of the car. “You hit a deer! exclaimed my husband.
About a month ago around 7:30 on a dark Friday evening I was driving my husband and myself home from a relaxing dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. We were enjoying a pleasant conversation and were in no particular hurry to get home. We live near a lake and were approaching a bridge when out of nowhere a deer appeared. The first and last thing I saw in that moment was its face in front of the headlight on the passenger side. After the impact, we were able to pull over to the side of the road and so did the car behind us. As we got out to assess the damage and comprehend what had just happened, a young man in his early twenties approached us. He was on his way home and saw what had happened and wanted to make sure we were okay. I could not help but notice how pleasant, reassuring, and kind spoken he was as he shined his flashlight at the damage on the car. Once he realized we were okay he got back in his car and continued his drive home.
A day or two later the realization of just how lucky we were became visible in my mind. If the deer had been say eight or twelve more inches across the road the results of the impact would have been much worse. Just eight or twelve more inches and my husband could have been injured since that is the side of the car that received the damage. The impact of the hit might have thrown the deer up onto our windshield or into the path of other cars.
I also began to reflect on the effect it could have had on that kind young man. What if we had not been the car in front of him? That deer would have probably been full body in front of his car in its quest to cross the road, and the results might have been devastating. That young man could have suffered grievous injury, or even death.
As I look at the big picture, we sustained minimal damage in a situation that could have ended in tragedy. I have replayed the timing of those moments before and after the impact in my mind. Perhaps God used us to be placed in the path of that deer, allowing us to take the hit because He still has plans for that young man. I offer thanks to our Heavenly Father for the “what might have been” that was avoided.
When I was in my twenties, I felt somewhat invincible and I can only imagine that young man does as well. He probably never gave the incident a second thought. Probably never considered the “what might have been” if another car had not been in front of his that evening. I wish I could tell him I think God has big plans for him.