Ron Leming Sr. was hunting with his son, Ron Jr., hoping to harvest a big bull elk with his bow. On this day Ron Sr. would get a shot off, but not at an elk. The prize for hitting his target wouldn’t be a freezer full of meat; it would be his son’s life. And the shot wouldn’t be one where he was able to take his time to make sure it was well placed; it would a desperate, rapid-fire operation.
The father and son were hunting in the Shoshone National Forest, a vast expanse of wild, untamed land, not far out of Cody, Wyoming. Ron Jr. was in high hopes that on this day he would be successful in calling in the big bull elk his dad was diligently seeking.
A big bull elk did show himself, but stood about 60 or 70 yards out. Ron wanted it to come in to at least 30 to 40 yards. But, just when Ron Jr. thought his buggling efforts were going to pay off, the big elk jolted and took off into the forest. After more than 30 minutes of work calling him in, Ron Jr. was frustrated.
Ron stood up and turned around. Instantly he realized what scared the elk away. Ron was looking at a grizzly - “a dark-brown, 500-pound avalanche of teeth, claws, and muscle.” It came straight for Ron and reached him in seconds. Ron’s only defense was to shoot him with an arrow, but he didn’t have time. He dodged the bear’s first attack, then took off running downhill.
“Get outta here!” Ron Jr. yelled to his dad. Ron Sr. Looked up to see his son literally running for his life only a few steps ahead of the angry griz. Ron Sr. said there was a split second when he saw his son as a baby again, and his natural paternal instincts to protect his son swept over him. Ron Sr. raised his bow, took aim at the charging grizzly, and let fly with an arrow.
Ron Jr. saw the arrow zip past his leg but was too preoccupied to turn around and see where it struck. Right after he saw the arrow he felt the bear; on top of him. He used his arms to protect his face. “The force of its bite was just tremendous,” Ron Jr. says, “and he was tossing me all around. But there was no pain at all.” At least there wasn’t any during the trauma of the attack.
On one toss by the bear Ron actually landed on his feet and then ran for a tree. But, the bear was on to him again. Meanwhile, Ron Sr. attempted to get another arrow, but when he saw the bear on top of his son, he decided to attack head on. Ron Sr. took his bow and used it like a club to beat the bear on the head. It worked, for the grizzly turned and ran away from them.
But it didn’t run far. After a short distance the bear stumbled and fell. The single arrow Ron Sr. shot severed a blood vessel in the bear’s heart. He stumbled and died, but not until he had done damage to Ron Jr.
The father and son were 15 miles into the wilderness, and they had no cell phone reception. It was a long, six-hour ride out for the injured man and his father. Fortunately, Ron, Jr. was kept only one night in the hospital and was released the next day. The father and son plan to go after that big bull elk again one day, but I’ll bet they’ll never forget when the father intervened on behalf of his son. (http://www.rd.com/family/father-kills-bear-to-save-son/)
I can think of one time when a father didn’t intervene to help his son when he was being horribly abused. His body was pummeled, tortured and abused even more than Ron Jr.’s had been during the grizzly attack. But in this other story, the father remained silent. Finally, the son broke out with a cry, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.”
All the protective instincts of a father had to be present in God, just as it was in Ron Lemming, Sr. But, God held back, knowing what it would take to save mankind. That was fortunate for us. But the son trusted the father’s wisdom, and with good cause. Three days later the father said, “Rise up, Son.”
Why would God let his son suffer such abuse? Because of his protective, paternal instinct for us. He doesn’t want to lose any of us to the ravages of the evil one, so he saved us through his son.Warren Baldwin
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