Keep Your Distance

Keep Your Distance

In the early morning just past dawn about two months ago, I was driving my daughter to school when a deer suddenly sprinted across the road right in front of my car. My daughter, her friend, and I all screamed simultaneously as I slammed on the brakes. No luck. Screaming doesn’t work. Deer hit. Damage done.

As I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw the deer get up and scamper off, but not without leaving a tuft of hair sticking out from my severely damaged hood. (My mom’s dog later thought my car was now an animal and proceeded to bark and growl at it to spare us from its wrath.) 

Just last week lightening almost struck twice for me. I was driving in to work when a deer crossed my path again! This time, instead of screaming, I laid on the horn which prompted it to leap swiftly out of my way. I came within inches of hitting the animal as I swerved over into the next lane.  The image of a second deer in my rearview mirror proved that I had actually dodged two bullets instead of one.  

The deer population in my area grows bigger every year. And yet it is still awe inspiring to see these elusive animals up close and personal while walking a trail in the park, or witnessing a group of them grazing in a field just yards away from the road.  

Sometimes I wonder if these docile animals and other creatures of God will be a part of our eternal heavenly home. In either case, I hope it’s neither them—nor me—being the cause of the other one getting there prematurely. As much as I like deer, I’d rather see them from a distance.

St. Francis, patron saint of animals, pray for me, my passengers, my vehicles and, oh yes, pray for the deer to cross only where the Deer Crossing signs are posted!


Image courtesy of anankkml at


About the Author

Sharon Lape is an editorial assistant in the periodicals department at Franciscan Media. She also researches and provides content for the popular Minute Meditations feature. Sharon is a wife and a mother of four children.
  • robert younger

    I like seeing them,up close and personal,on my dinner plate.. 😉

  • Leah

    I love this blog, Sharon! And, I’m hoping there are horses in heaven.

  • Monna Younger

    Very well written description of what you witnessed and participated in. Sam, our dog, did truly think you had brought him a new friend to play with as he barked and jumped up sniffing the deer hair on the hood of your car. Glad the deer is still running around and you and your school girls were spared serious injury.

  • Jill Hotopp Pinotti

    I almost hit one the other day too, in the middle of the afternoon! It is scary, and it’s a good idea to honk the horn, something most people don’t even think about in the spur of the moment.
    I too, also believe there are animals in heaven, if that’s what makes us happy, they will be there. Whatever you want heaven to be is what it will be. :)
    Love your blog, as always!

  • Janice Tarter

    This is really funny and inspiring. You are a great story teller!