I’m sure they had family. I’m sure they lived a certain life up to that moment. They were important to something/someone. I can’t get these thoughts out of my head as I pass by two deer that appeared to have been hit by cars lying dead along the highway.
I have always had an issue with animals being killed on the roadway. I hate to even use the term “roadkill.” It changes their identity. They are no longer whatever they were while alive. Their sum total of their existence is the event that brought finality.
What if we all were named for what killed us, or what we became once we die? “There she lie. We will miss her, good ole CANCER. Or he was a real feisty one, that HEART DISEASE. Life will never be the same without SUICIDE.” What if your life was summed up by the issues you struggled with or that eventually overcame you? We don’t do that. For most of us, when you die, your tombstone will say your name, or some awesome and beloved, given, nickname.
I guess, at the core, I take issue with how we rename things and how we handle or not handle the ending of life. Or how we respond to injustice during life?
How is it everyone can just drive by? On their way to wherever they have planned to go. Passing by the traumatic and life-ending event represented by the deer. Someone hit them. Someone crashed into their world and ended it. And no one will do anything about it. Most will not stop or even think twice about the life of those deer.
With the ease you can just pass by something like that on the road, signifies to me, the desensitizing of human empathy. Our ability to relate to something else. To understand, to take up another’s burden. To consider others. To put ourselves in others’ shoes. To walk a mile. Does any of that take place anymore?
Jesus made it a point to always refer to the “least among us.” Who is that today? Is it the deer? Is it a group of children being taken from their families at the border? Is it adults that have lived here their entire lives and are being threatened with deportation? Is it people that have suffered institutionalized racism and persecution for centuries? Is it women who have to fight just not to be sexually misused or labeled-in order to be taken serious? Is it people being slaughtered by corrupt governments? Is it the children being abused and molested to create child pornography in order for millions of men to satisfy a sickness? Is it woman and children being trafficked to feed modern day slavery? Shame on us, for being able, to just pass by –and go about our business. To hear tragedy on the news, scroll through it on Facebook, and just file it away as part of life.
Each one of us has a lane, highway or road we are assigned to in life. And each one intersects with a group or individual that requires assistance and dignity. Our job as humans on this planet is to handle the lane you are in. To know what is yours. If you see things as you drive along in life, you say and do something. If you feel a passion about it. Whatever it is. You don’t just drive by and assume someone else will handle it. Because eventually, with years and years, of you passing by, you train yourself to not look, to not care. After all, someone else will take care of the “roadkill.”
Sadly, I don’t know the answer. Is it to stop the car, get out and put the deer in your car and have a funeral? Likely not. Maybe everyone is thinking about the deer as they pass them by. Maybe they are just as distraught as I am. Maybe they are thinking about their families that were likely looking for them last night and wondering whether to go out on the road to look for them. Maybe the deer were mother and son.
How much can I take on, as one person, right? I need to live my own life. I need to focus on what God called me to earth for. After all, I didn’t create the highway. I didn’t invade their territory and create a death trap. And I complain about it–yet drive on it every day. Is the answer to rid our nation of highways and go back to horse and buggies? What if they fulfilled their purpose that God created for them and that was their day? Does that make it any less tragic?
And how can we continue on in life if we get bogged down by every death that comes our way……both human or otherwise? If we stopped every time someone died or things ended– we would never live. I am not sure where the balance lies. But I know that life isn’t solely about progression and pursuit of dreams. Yet, it is also not about all getting stuck, mentally suffering over loss. Becoming paralyzed due to tragedy. There is tragedy every minute of every day. The key is to know your highway. To take up the cross of that highway. That lane of life. In that lane, you support, clean up after, find strength, refresh one another, and do what you are lead to do by the Spirit of God. He will lead and guide us into the truth. The truth of our lane.
I don’t know. I guess I just wanted to remember those deer in some way. Make their life matter in some form–even if it is just a meager, searching, blog post.