May
01

Wounded by Randy Rowley 5/1/08 ©

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On the first day of February, eight friends, my son, Ryan, and I headed for a weekend FCS self-guided hog hunt with Texas Wild near Cross.  I killed two hogs – a 175 lb. boar and a 120 lb. sow, David Chalmers killed a 140 lb. boar, and Tim and Jesse Price killed 50 lb. sows.  First-time guests Eddie Lee Toohey and Jim Bob Cohenour missed a sow, or we would have killed six.  Still, killing five hogs was our second-best hog hunt up to that date.

Jimmy Cohenour, a first-time guest on that hunt, was skunked.  After hunting two other ranches with the same results, Jimmy decided to develop a hog hunting ranch.  He bought 100 acres bordering the Colorado River near Blessing, installed an electric fence (except along the river), and built a small bunkhouse.  When he told me he was offering hunts, I booked one for Ryan’s 18th birthday weekend.

Ryan, his friend, Kelvin Cheung, and I arrived at Jimmy’s ranch on the evening of December the 29th.  14-year-old Jim Bob, who ran hunting operations, recommended stalk hunting, but we asked to hunt from stands, as it was almost dark.

Shortly after getting into their stand, Ryan and Kelvin had a herd of hogs come to their corn and hog bait.  A medium-sized boar fed on bait just ten yards away from their stand.  Ryan shot it in the head with his Remington Model 7600 in .270.  Ryan was very excited as this was the first big game animal he’d killed.  It weighed 152 pounds.  We skinned, gutted, and quartered it.  Then we went to bed.

The following morning Jim Bob had me knell by a large fallen tree that I could use as a shooting rest.  He then went to a swampy area where the hogs liked to frequent, hoping he could drive some hogs towards me.

Soon after that, I heard the unmistakable sound of several animals running through the woods.  A herd of about 50 pigs ran broadside about 40 yards in front of me.  Thinking I wouldn’t get a better opportunity, I took a shot with my Remington Model 700 bolt-action in .25-06 and hit a medium-sized hog.

Ryan and Kelvin (watching wildlife from a 52-foot-tall stand) reported the hog had laid down via a two-way radio.  Thinking the hog had expired, Jim Bob and I went to retrieve it.  That proved to be a mistake, as he detected us, got up, and ran off into thick woods.

I was mad at myself for wounding the hog, not giving it at least half an hour to expire (as it had laid down and not piled up), and using the wrong weapon (I had my Fabarm Red Lion II 12 gauge semi-automatic shotgun with a 3-inch chamber and a full choke right beside me – the fifteen .33 caliber 00 buck pellets each shotshell contained would’ve been a much better choice for shooting at a running pig at that range).

I believe man’s gift from God of having dominion over the animal kingdom (see Genesis 1:28) requires looking for creatures I wounded for a long time and dispatching them quickly if they’re not dead.  So we looked for the hog for several hours.

The herd ran broadside ten yards from me twice, but I didn’t shoot because I didn’t see the one I wounded.  Shooting another hog was not an option at that point – it would’ve delayed my responsibility to find the pig I’d wounded and quickly dispatch it if it wasn’t dead.  I didn’t want the wounded hog to continue to suffer while I selfishly skinned, gutted, and quartered another.

But after searching another two hours, I concluded we wouldn’t find the wounded hog.  Not wanting to go home empty-handed, I reluctantly resumed hunting.  Ryan and I hid behind some big trees as Jim Bob and Kelvin went to the swampy area, hoping to drive some pigs towards us.

They soon flushed a herd that first ran towards us but veered and headed towards a hill.  I ran up the hill, angling towards them.  They ran across my bow about 20 yards away when I got to the hilltop.  I chose a medium-sized hog and nailed him with my shotgun.  He ran about 50 yards and piled up.  I was sure he was dead, so I didn’t wait to retrieve him.  He weighed 135 pounds.

Seven days later, Jimmy informed me they found and finished off my wounded hog.  As I suspected, I’d gut shot him.  I was greatly relieved he wasn’t suffering any longer.

Did you know we have something in common with that wounded hog?  We’ve all been wounded as well, at least emotionally.  Many of our wounds were suffered during childhood.  Even children raised in the best homes and who attended the best schools and churches or other bodies of believers still suffer wounds because sinful people raised them.

Although relatives, friends, and strangers inflict some wounds, fathers mete out most of their sons’ wounds, and mothers impose most of their daughters’ wounds.

Some wounds are the result of neglect.  They often result from fathers working mega hours to support their families.  They leave for work before their family rises, and when they finally drag themselves home, they’re too tired to spend any time with them.  They’re so busy making a living they forget to make a life.  Such fathers don’t want to inflict wounds, but being absent inflicts wounds, regardless.  Mothers usually don’t share the same workaholic disease as men, but they more often than men neglect their children by getting too involved with ministries and social groups.

Children in such homes often believe if they were more intelligent, athletic, attractive, or lovable, their parents would want to spend more time with them, and they’re the reason for their parent’s absence.

Other wounds are very intentional.  These wounds are often inflicted by parents trying to re-live their lives through their children – to try to make up for their failures when they were young.  For example, a father who wasn’t a star quarterback tries to make his son into one.  And heaven help that boy if he wants to play in the marching band instead.  Or a mother who wasn’t very attractive as a child tries to make her daughter into a beauty queen.  If her daughter can’t take the pressure, she finds herself alone and rejected.

Parents who have this mindset try to pressure their children into getting with the program.  If a child still refuses to get on board, their parents might resort to threats, actual punishment, and even psychological, verbal, and physical abuse.

Before long, the child believes the names his parent is calling him are correct and acts out.  Sometimes children in such situations have extreme reactions.  For example, a boy repeatedly called a wimp by his dad overcompensates and becomes a bully.  Trends become routines – routines become habits – habits become a way of life.

Regardless of how we received our wounds and how deep they are, there is hope – and that hope is Jesus.

We need to acknowledge to ourselves and God we’re wounded.  We need to ask him to heal us and to make us new.  Jesus said in John 14:13, “‘And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son’” and James 5:13a says, “Is anyone among you in trouble?  Let them pray.”  However, we’ll never come to grips with what happened and be entirely healed unless we forgive the one who inflicted the wound.

When we’re ready to be healed, we must acknowledge the wound hurt and continues to hurt, but we forgive the one who wounded us.  Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15, “‘For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.’”

When we don’t forgive those who wounded us, we often think we’re getting back at them.  But in reality, we’re destroying ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Bitterness can cause physical disease and affect metabolism, immune response, and organ function.  Emotional consequences include prolonging pain, anxiety, depression, preventing living in the present, distrust of others, and an inability to cultivate healthy, satisfying relationships.  Spiritual outcomes include losing joy and God’s peace and even becoming unable to grow in Christ, serve him and others, and live an abundant life.

If you’ve been wounded, I encourage you to forgive those who hurt you, regardless of whether they ask you to forgive them.  When we forgive, we set the captive free, and later, to our surprise, we learn the captive was us.

If you’ve wounded someone, you must do as Jesus instructed in Matthew 5:23-24:

  • Confess your sin to God and repent/turn from it. (See 1 John 1:9.)
  • Ask to meet the person you wounded face-to-face – avoid sending an email or calling them.
  • Admit your specific sin(s)/how you wounded them.
  • Humbly ask their forgiveness and try to restore the relationship.

If they don’t forgive you, show empathy, be patient, and don’t get mad at them.  Forgiveness is a gift – it’s not a right.  It’s not something we can expect or demand.  Say something like, “I understand why you don’t want to forgive me.  I hope that will change over time, and we’ll become close again.”

Randy

Ryan

Buckshot recovered from Randy’s hog

Categories : Devotionals

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