So I’m up north this weekend. The weather had cleared and we were up in the trees by about 5:45PM. It was sunny and a little breezy right out of the South. I’m seated on a north facing stand with most of my deer coming from the South or a little East. Anyway, it was a nice night. I had 6 does and fawns out in front of me, one really fat one that refused to step out where I could shoot. But they were fun to watch anyway. I noticed they were really jumpy, more than usual and chalked it up to the windy conditions.
As I sat there, a large Cumulous cloud seemed to suspend to the North East. It was really fun to watch. It was expanding like a mushroom cloud explosion. There were some lower grey clouds floating by, it was really beautiful against the blue sky. As I was watching all the glorious creation and the remaining fall color, I heard a low rumble. Hmmm, not any of these clouds I thought. I watched as the deer spooked from in front of me and moved East. They did not see or wind me, but something made them jump.
To my west, I noticed the clouds getting dark grey. I turned in my stand and looked straight South and it was black. Hmm, this could get ugly. Now in the morning I sat through a little light rain all morning, no big deal in a cedar tree with lots of canopy overhead. So I was sticking around again through this rain.
I watched the black sky approach slowly and it seemed to encroach all around me. Another low rumble. Then, as though God opened the freezer, I get this blast of cold air from the my South. That was all the more warning I needed. I have never gotten down from a tree faster. The first bit of lightning flashed to the West, high in the clouds. “Must go Faster!”
I hit the ground, the deer were no where to be seen. They could read the sky as well as I could. In fact, we are pretty sure the deer knew more than us. They were out browsing all afternoon as we drove to pick up some tractor implements for Grandpa. I ran, yes in my insulated boots, through the standing corn rows. The wind was much worse on the ground and the black sky was rapidly approaching. It was now looking like 8:30 at 7:15. It began to sprinkle and the sky had that weird color to it, there had been a short tornado warning in the afternoon. I wanted to get to shelter.
The closest shelter to me was the new hunting blind we were building. I knew that was open. There was also a pole barn, but I figured that was all locked up. I tried a couple doors as the rain was now coming harder and the wind was making lines in the fields as it burst in three short blows repeatedly.
I ran into the blind to think about what to do while I waited for my brother-in-law to get there with the truck. He had been hunting on the other side of the swamp about 1/2 a mile away perhaps. Lots of walking for him and then a short drive to my spot. When I got to the blind I saw a coyote run past the pole barn toward a forklift parked in the back. I got out an arrow, just because. I thought, “perhaps my hunting isn’t over afterall”. It never returned.
Now the storm is in full swing. I have rarely ever been in a storm like this outside. The trees are whipping, rain is pouring and lightning is streaking the sky. A few are striking really close. I began imaging what would happen if lightning hit the little plywood and 2×4 shack. Not a pretty picture for the guy inside it. So I looked and there was Doug’s tractor. A fully enclosed cab, big rubber wheels. Time to make a run for it. I had remembered the door was unlocked from before and I jumped right in. The door swung closed behind me. Now it’s starting to hail, and more wind and lightning. “Anytime now, Doug?!?!” In the safety of the cab, I could think a little clearer. Talk about the sovereignty of God. Once in a while we all need to feel that insignificant.
Doug finally got there, he was soaked. It took him a little longer to decide to get down I think, he had bucks bedded down in the field between him and the truck. I understand his dilemma. I jumped in the truck and we made it through zero visibility back to Highland and home. As we approached the house, the hail was getting louder. Soon golfball sized hail was smacking the 2007 Dodge Pick up and Doug picked up the pace in the zero visibility road smashing through huge puddles. We passed a manure spreader…not significant, just putting it in context that I am up north.
Home. Whew. The kids are all in the basement and happy to see the Dads home. As we stood in the garage, the storm subsided and it was night. We spent the rest of the night playing settlers around the kitchen table. A good night. So that is how I found the sovereignty of God in a tree, a blind, a tractor, and the hug of a little girl who prayed for her daddy to be safe in the storm. Some of life’s neat experiences. I just wish I had gotten a shot at that Coyote.