Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sam the Snake Handler and the Big Adventure

"You want me to kill him?" Sam stood at the bottom of the stairs, and hollered up into the screen porch.

I was hard at work on Hosea, as I moved between multiple commentaries and my Bible, and typed as fast as I could. It took a few seconds to realize he was talking.

"Kill what?"

Kill this snake that's trying to get in your house."


"Shor' nuff. They's a snake down here climbing up this wall." 

I was out the door in an instant. Sam was right. A snake had started up a low brick wall on his way to terrorize me on the screen porch.

"Kill it." I was not as calm as these two words might imply.

"Well give me a stick and I'll whack it in the head."

I would much rather Sam kill a snake than for me to do it myself, so I handed him a 1"x 2" x 24" piece of wood I'd been saving for a craft project. He whacked away at the brick wall, but never managed to hit the snake. 

"Sam, you're missing the snake." I had forgotten about his very poor vision. He sees everything double, and he couldn't tell which snake was the real snake.

"Hang on. I'm bound to hit it in a minute." He pounded away, but missed every time.

"That's snake gonna bite you. I'll just shoot it."

I ran for the rifle, slammed the clip in place, and prepared to take aim. 

By this time, Sam was determined to kill the snake for me, so he gave another whack. He missed the snake again.

That was the final straw for the snake. He slithered off the wall and under my truck. It was truly amazing how fast a creature without legs could move. I was momentarily in awe. But then I remembered he was a snake trying to get in my house, and his legless running wasn't quite so awesome, after all.

"Back your truck up. That snake's done gone under it," Sam ordered me.

Just so you know, I was in a sun dress and flip flops. I was not at all interested in getting my bare toes near that snake, (which I would have to do when I got in the truck) but I ran for the keys. 

When I got back, the snake was no where to be found. "You chased it off, Sam."

"No, I didn't. That snake has crawled up in your wheel."

"No, it didn't." 

"Yep. It did."

I looked, from a distance, but didn't see the snake. Since Sam's vision is terrible, I didn't believe he could see inside my wheel, but he could. 

This might not have been the smartest move I've ever made, but I took a stick and poked around inside my wheel. The stick hit something soft and mushy and my stomach lurched. I had found the snake.

I made the snake mad with my poking, but he was determined to stay where he was, so I called The Hired Hand. I'd forgotten he was at the doctor's office with his daddy and couldn't come. 

"Just drive around the countryside for a while and you'll fling the snake right out."

That seemed like a reasonable idea, so I climbed in the truck and started backing up. I had a clear vision in my mind of driving down County Road 278 at 45 mph as the snake flew out of my wheel. Dogs and people would be so surprised to see the flying snake, and I would be free of him. 

I was so happy with my new plan.

I backed up as far as the cattle gap, but stopped when I heard Sam holler. "You've flung him out." 

That was not the plan. I slammed my brakes on and got out.

By this time, Sam had managed to step on the snake. There are a lot of things that would have been a good idea at this point, but what Sam did next was not one of them. He picked up the snake. In Sam's defense, he picked it up behind the head, but he thought he could squeeze the snake with his bare hand and choke it to death.

I was yelling, "Put it down, Sam. Let me shoot it."

"No. I've got it now." 

The choking plan did not work. Partly because Sam was laughing so hard at me. 

When he finally decided to put the snake down, he did another thing didn't seem too smart to me. He put his foot on the snake's tail, but left his head free to do all manner of snakey things.

At this point, the snake was furious. He got away from Sam for what might have just been a few seconds but seemed much longer. Since I was the one who had flung him out of the wheel, he came after me, sticking that snakey tongue out as he ran (if running is what you do with no legs). 

I did what everyone should do when a snake starts after them. I screamed and ran. 

You may not believe this, but it is true. As I was running, I thought, this is what we all should do when that serpent, the devil, starts coming after us with temptation. And it is. There's no need to stand around and let a snake bite you, and there's no need to stand around and let temptation overcome you. Flee.

Paul's instructions to Timothy came into my mind. "Flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness." (2 Timothy 2:22) I hoped all the Hosea people figure this out while they're studying, so I sent up a little prayer for them, because I didn't have time to send a big one. (This all happened very fast.) 

"I got him." Sam laughed harder than I'd seen him laugh in a long time. He had stepped on the snake's tail again.

He had the snake in a manner of speaking, but the snake was now determined to have Sam. That snake struck at Sam's boot like crazy. Sam was so tickled, all he could do was laugh. Then, the snake struck at Sam's skinny jean-covered leg but he couldn't get his teeth through the denim. 

I thanked God for that, and stepped closer to warn Sam, but the snake turned and started striking at me. He'd have bit me, too, if I hadn't screamed and run. 

Sam was laughing so hard, he had tears in his eyes. While he tried to hit the snake with the 1x2, which worked no better than it had before, I ran for the pruning shears.

Together, Sam stomped the snake and I applied the pruning shears to his body. The snake was still writhing, but Sam pronounced him dead. I wasn't satisfied.

A wonderful thought popped into my mind, so I put the pruning shear blades around that snake's head and announced, out loud, "I am crushing your head like Jesus crushed that serpent the devil when he rose from the grave." And the snake's head split and he died.

That's just how fast Jesus defeated the serpent devil, Satan. He died on the cross, and the devil thought he'd won. When everyone least expected it, Jesus burst open the grave and came out in all His splendor. The devil's head was crushed under His feet, and He won the victory over sin and death.

We don't have to live defeated. 

That one quick crushing sealed the victory. We can live free, if we want to. So run when temptation comes your way, and embrace the One who rose again, for He is the Conqueror, the King, and the for-all-time Serpent Crusher, and (if you're willing) He has set you free. 

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise Him on the heel. Genesis 3:15 nasb

P.S. The picture above is of a different snake that Sam killed. We got excited and forgot to get a picture of this one.

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Importance of Purpose (
#snakes #Jesus #crushedhishead