Posted in Family, fear, friends, Grace, gratitude, life, prayer, Southern born, thankful, travel, Trials

Snakes from Heaven

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father. James 1:17

Plop and there he was.  When we made our last trip to the land of collards and grits, aka South Georgia, we of course had to make the rounds visiting the relatives. Mostly they were on the Allen side. There is my wife Judy’s oldest sister, a couple of old brothers (oops, I meant to say older), a somewhat, younger sister and a host of nieces, nephews and a few Cousin Eddie’s.

Well, one day, we were out in the country visiting her oldest brother Smitty and his wife Marie.  A while back Smitty suffered a stroke and lost his ability to speak…well…he still talks up a storm and with passion, it’s just we can only understand a few words.  Regardless…we always enjoy the visits.  Smitty has always been quite the character and it would take more than a stroke to change that.  So, we visited, and visited, and then we visited some more.  Finally, it was time to move on to the next relative. When we stood to leave Marie said, “I’m gonna get this room cleaned out and y’all can stay with us next time.” The room was separate from the house with its own bathroom and entrance. I told her that sounded really good.

Before we could move on to the car and make the great escape, she said, “Well, let me show you this room.”  She and I made our way to the door and with her leading the way, she opened the door and I followed.  As she opened the door and walked through, I stepped into the doorway behind her, and just about then, a snake, yes-a real live snake, fell from the door-casing and landed not more than a foot from me.  As it hit the floor it made a nice plopping sound.  I made another kind of sound.

So, let me set this up, Marie is in the room, totally unaware of what has fallen right behind her, I am in the doorway fully aware of what has fallen right in front of me, and our new friend is looking at both of us with a real attitude.  The snake had my full attention, so I got Marie’s attention and as we watched he set about trying to bite us—striking at her and striking at me.  You’ve probably heard stories about how feisty a little chihuahua can be, well, this snake was part chihuahua. I realize he was only about twelve inches long, but for all intents and purposes, he was the size of an Amazon boa-constrictor. It was time for him to leave.

Marie, who is 100% South Georgia born and raised, went, and got a hoe and well, let’s just say Mr. Snake went to meet his maker.  If you like snakes, sorry.  But if you are like me and firmly believes that the only good snake is one that is not breathing…well, you understand.  So, what is the moral of this short story?  What is the big truth?  Well, I’m pretty sure for me it involves not being surprised at what can plop down right in front of you when you least expect it.  Things can change quickly.  The really, really big lesson is about gratitude.  You see, if Mr. Snake had waited just about five more seconds to plop…he would have plopped right on my head, fallen into my shirt and I would have died of a heart attack.

We could talk about why the snake fell in the first place, but I think I’ll spend my time thanking the good Lord for those five seconds.  You see, time after time as we journey through life, there are dozens of little blessings.  All we must do is look for them instead of staring at the circumstances.  James, the half-brother of Jesus and a man that I am sure did not like snakes said, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father.”  Well, this gift indeed did come down and sure enough it was good because it taught me not to complain about falling snakes but rather to be thankful for where it landed—or didn’t land.  Now if it had landed on my head and slithered into my shirt, well I am sure my Dearest Daddy would still have said, “Don’t worry, son, I’ve got this.”  Bro. Dewayne


Southern born. Love God, my wife, family, and a great adventure.

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