The Author


I don’t like snakes. Never have. Never will. Perhaps it is Biblical. You know – the business in the Garden. I know, I know. In the garden, it is a serpent that talks, walks upright, and thinks it’s something of a theologian (read Genesis 3 for the details). Still, when all is said and done, it winds up crawling in the dust – a snake.

Perhaps it is biological. I come from a long line of people who didn’t like snakes. They all grew up on the farm, and the only snake they liked was a dead one. Again, I know. Snakes can be beneficial, like when they eat insects, mice, and rats. Still and all, step on one in high grass and see if you like it.

All this probably explains my reaction recently when I entered the sanctuary, turned on the lights, and walked down the aisle. My mind was on several things, and I was trying to remember exactly why I had gone over there when, just as I passed the first pew, I almost stepped on a snake. I yelped, jumped sideways, and gave thanks that I had remembered to take my blood pressure medicine.

Then I realized that it was just a baby that was as frightened of me as I was of it. It zigged while I zagged, both of us trying to figure out how we were going to get out of there alive. I didn’t take the time to try to figure out if it were poisonous (probably not). I found a clipboard, scooped it up, held it at arm’s length, and, taking it to the door, tossed it onto the lawn. It landed on its back, but I didn’t bother to go put it right side up. I figured that if it could figure out how to get in the sanctuary, it could figure out how to turn over.

Safely inside, I went about my business, just as I suppose the snake, safely outside, went about his. It occurred to me that we were both happier. It also occurred to me that we both knew that there were some things that belonged in church and some things that didn’t. Like snakes. And lots of other stuff.

Blessings, Sam