I like snakes.
I really do. I grew up in an area of New York where you didn’t worry about whether a snake was harmful or deadly. Any fear that one might have of snakes was self-inflicted. My mother hated, make that detested snakes. My father, on the other hand, found joy in every part of nature except mosquitos. I was a daddy’s girl and a self-respecting tom-boy so naturally I did not fear snakes. I searched for them, had pockets full of them, named them and kept them as pets until mom found out they were in the house. My father taught me that there was nothing to fear, I just needed to respect and care for what God had given us to enjoy.
That was New York.
Georgia is not New York.
New York snakes are not Georgia snakes. You can’t just pick up any old snake and not worry as to whether it won’t bite you, make you sick, or kill you.
I have raised my children differently than my father raised me with regards to snakes. I still teach them to respect them, but I have had to teach them to recognize the good ones from the bad ones. If they aren’t sure, then they must eer on the side of caution.
On Wednesday, I was working in my garden/pond area with my kids. We were weeding and pruning anything needed to make our garden area beautiful. I was on my hands and knees pulling out weeds when something brushed past my hand. I looked and saw the lime-green tail of a juvenile Copperhead snake wiggle past my hand. I reacted as any girl who had been raised by a father who taught her not to fear snakes would, I screamed at the top of my lungs and shook my hands up and down as if to get the snake cooties off of them! I then did something that, in hind site, made me think on and ponder. I went over to where the snake was and investigated it. I didn’t run away, instead, I was captivated by the creature.
Then Eve (me) called for Chad Adam(s) who grabbed a shovel and killed the snake. ( I know…that was reaching a bit. But I couldn’t resist!)
I really hated killing it. But it was right where my kids and my dogs play, and Copperheads aren’t really the kind of creature that you want to take the chance on lashing out on you while you try to relocate it to the woods. We then laid the dead snake on the driveway and had the kids investigate it, to make sure they understood what a deadly snake looked like.
Then, I sat and pondered. Maybe we all hate snakes so much because of the story of the serpent in the garden. If that is the case, then rightly so. If the Devil had been a giant, charging elephant then Eve would have hightailed it for the hills and not looked back. She would have told Adam it was time to hunt and stop gathering! Instead, he was a snake who slowly and quietly made his way to where she was. He may have whisked passed her hand and crawled through her feet without her even knowing it. She didn’t know the danger until it was already upon her. When she saw him, it may have startled her but she didn’t run. God taught her that she didn’t need to fear His creation. But the talking part should have been a huge warning sign. You know the rest of the story.
My run-in with my snake sent out huge warning signs, even though it crept up on me. The pattern, the green tail, the head shape were all signs that I had just stumbled upon danger. It did make me jump, OK… and scream, but instead of backing away and staying away, I went back to look at the danger again.
This reminded me of how many times the enemy sneaks into our lives and shocks us. But the question is, do we go back and investigate? How many times does a movie or TV show shock us with its worldly influence, but we go back to see “how bad” it really is? Or keep listening to the song that had bad lyrics just to hear “how bad” it might be?
“Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
Just like our human tendency is to stop and gauk at an accident to see “how bad” it really is, we need to stop tempting ourselves by seeing “how bad” the tactics of the enemy really are. They are bad. Pure and simple, they are deadly.
He really is a snake in the grass.