Serpent in the Mount—A tine tingling tale…


It’s that time again; time for the ghosts and ghouls of another Halloween to make their annual appearance.  And while my wife and I aren’t really into the spookiness of Halloween and pretty much stick to the autumn aspects of pumpkins and mums, we still get the childlike joy of driving around looking at the ”haunted” decorations and of course, being awed by the little beggars, dressed to impress…or distress.  I have never been one to race to the front of the line so I could be publicly humiliated in the local house of horrors either;  screaming like a little girl while being stroked by a synthetic hand is not my idea of a good time.  I find real life scary enough sometimes and thus, my account of a rather frightening experience just a few days ago reflected below…

My son-in-law and I decided to take on a joint venture and purchased an old rototiller, offered to Justin by a co-worker.  Justin brought home the mechanical prize and it was immediately evident it needed a little work.  We stored the metal toothed wonder on the outside of my garage and one day I got adventuresome, deciding to put a little gas in the machine and give the cord a good pull to see if it would breathe life again.  It didn’t take long until I found it was indeed hemorrhaging fuel so I decided to catch the escaping liquid and give my shoulder a rest.  Justin later took a long look at it and decided it needed several gaskets and other parts in order to resuscitate our “find”.

Fast forward to a few days ago; Justin had taken the tiller to another area for storage until the parts had arrived for the gasket transplant.  On Saturday, Justin proceeded to rebuild the carburetor and remove the gas tank for cleaning.  I walked over just as he was making final adjustments.  After all was in order, Justin tweaked the choke, gave the rope one good pull and the tiller sprang to life.  We smiled, gave mental “high fives” and was standing there admiring the purr from the engine when Justin suddenly became a little more animated, jumping back exclaiming “WHOAA”!

I quickly looked down at the back of the tiller just in time to watch an eighteen inch baby copperhead crawl out of the drive belt area of the motor mount and proceeded to drop down on to the pavement below,  slithering around, trying to find a safe exit into the grass.  I am standing three feet away, suddenly feeling quite exposed as I am dressed in my “business hippie” style of button down shirt, jean shorts and bare feet; my phalanges seemed especially naked to this juvenile reptile.  This surreal “oh crap” moment, full of fright, wonderment, shock, and disbelief was over in a second.  Justin steered “junior” back on to the pavement where he planted his size ten boot upon the venomous infant’s head and half of its’ body.

So what is scaring you these days?  Could it be the world around us with its’ uncertainties relating to the economy, governmental corruption, climate changes or a myriad of other headlines reflected in several different languages, currently lining the bottom of bird cages around the world?  Perhaps you are personally dealing with a chronic illness or disease OR the big “C” (cancer) has come to haunt your household.  Whatever your fright fight might be, I want you to know there is One who knows you intimately and is right alongside you during these scary times of life.  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ”.  God knows our every need and can soothe our every fear; we just need to give it to Him and let God work everything out for His good.

God even knows my innate fear of snakes.  And while Justin and I are still wondering where the rest of Junior’s family resides, I have to resign myself to the fact that scary things do happen in the every day and I need to trust God to both protect me and give me the wisdom to know what to do in the frightful situation.  Prayer is a great start; wearing shoes and looking down at the grass more while walking through the yard might not be a bad idea either…

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