Tuesday, July 30, 2013

"Coppa-head!"


Genesis 3:15
" . . . And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

There is a small park at the entrance of our neighborhood.  It has swings and slides and is mostly shaded.  A creek runs through it, too, and a sturdy, wooden bridge allows visitors to cross from the parking lot to the park itself.












I decide it's a perfect place to take my granddaughter, Virginia Rose, one afternoon when she is staying with us.  She's all excited about the swings and slides, but what holds her interest the most is the creek.  It dawns on me that she has never seen one!







So, after a cursory run-through on the playground equipment, back to the bridge we go where Virginia proceeds to gather small pieces of gravel from the parking lot to toss into the water.  She is fascinated with the variety of plops and splashes they make, depending upon how large the rocks are and where they happen to land in the stream.

The water is somewhat shallow at this part of the creek as you can tell in the photos above.  So, I take Virginia by the hand to view a deeper part where our stones can have a better impact.  She is happily tossing the rocks when I notice it.




A brown snake is coiled motionless on a tree branch suspended over the water, sunning itself.  Not even the splish-splash of our falling stones disturbs its rest.  I begin to think it might be dead.

It takes some doing to convince Virginia that it's time to go home.  She so wants to see that snake move!  But, it's hot, the bugs are feasting (on me), and she finally relents when I promise we'll make another visit to the creek soon.

Gammie keeps that promise.  A few days later, we're back at the park.  Forget the playground!  All Virginia wants to do is return to the place we saw the brown snake.

"I don't think he'll be there, Virginia," I tell her, "but let Gammie check anyway."

I peer over the edge of the bank.  There's the branch, but it's empty just as I thought.



I lean out just a bit further, and my heart leaps to my throat.  Curled on a sun-warmed boulder below is a copperhead!!!


One of the most venomous snakes in our region, and definitely not one with which to have a close encounter!

"Virginia, we can't throw rocks in this part of the creek today.  Let me pick you up and I'll show you why."  I carry her to a spot where she has a good, and safe, view of this dangerous reptile.  Her eyes widen.  "See?  That's a copperhead.  It would hurt you something awful.  We don't want to do anything to stir him up.  We'll just have to be satisfied with throwing rocks from the bridge today."

And, as we do so, my eyes are continually darting everywhere, on the lookout for a slithering snake, with stomach in knots the entire time.  I decide this will be our last visit to the park until cold weather sets in.

When we get home, Virginia runs up to my husband, Danny, all excited.  "Papa!  Papa!  Snake!  S-s-s-s-s-s!  Coppa-head!  Coppa-head!"

"Would you like to see some pictures of copperheads on the computer?"  I ask her.  I really want to make sure Virginia knows exactly what this snake looks like should she ever see one in the future.

"Yep, Gammie."

I think we see every available photo of a copperhead that Google Images has to offer.  But, I'm convinced Virginia now knows how to recognize one, and will definitely keep her distance.

~

Our world is fraught with dangers.  As parents and grandparents, we do all in our power to protect our children and grandchildren.  But, it is also important, as they grow, to equip them with knowledge which helps them avoid perils and pitfalls.

That's what God, our Heavenly Parent, has done for us through His Word.  The Bible is our road map, our guide, our beacon in navigating the treacherous waters of this life.  To avoid Satan's poisonous bite.

To live a life filled with grace and hope, knowing we are loved by the Lord of the Universe, feeling His protective arms surrounding us.

~

Have you ever had a too-close encounter with a dangerous creature?  Please share in the comment section.

Will you pray with me?
Father, we are so grateful for the gift of Your Word to guide us through this life and help us to live in ways that are pleasing in Your sight.  May we daily seek Your presence through prayer and Scripture.  Amen.

22 comments:

  1. Snakes - definitely not my most favorite thing in the world.

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    1. Nor mine as you can tell from this post. :)
      Thanks so much for visiting today, Glynn, and blessings to you!

      Delete
  2. When my son, Thomas, was 2 or 3 he was visiting his grandparents in south Ga. They kept a cover over a sandbox in the back of the yard. Thomas had gone out there by himself, lifted off the cover and came running back. "Nake, nake!" Sure enough, it was a copperhead. He never lifted the cover by himself again!

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    1. Oh, that's a scary story right there, Amy! Just so glad the little guy wasn't bitten.
      Thanks so much for coming by today!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  3. Yeah. Snakes cause an unsettling in me as well, Martha. Not sure if this is based on fact, however I've heard from various sources over the course of my life that we are not born with any fear except two:
    We have an innate fear of snakes and spiders. When I say spiders I don't mean tiny ones or daddy long legs.

    I'm talkin' big fury ones. I do my best NOT to be fearful of those big ones but I must say that my skin DOES crawl when I see one.
    --
    Chris

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    Replies
    1. My fears run right alongside yours, Chris. When I returned to the park to take some photos for this post, my legs felt like jelly as I expected to see a snake any minute. Luckily, I didn't; the snake pics are from Google.
      Thanks so much for visiting my friend!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  4. Eww, eww, eww. Did you take those pictures?

    I love your application, but I'm still ewwing...

    We don't have copperheads here in Michigan, thank goodness, but we do have rattlesnakes that are pretty shy. Though they do like wetlands, and we have this pond that's developed in our field from a broken county drain...

    Amy, your story has totally freaked me out!

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    Replies
    1. I took the photos of everything BUT the snakes, Sandra. Those are from Google. If I'd seen a snake when I had my camera, I'd be shaking too much to even get a shot. :)
      And, I'm with you in the "eww" department when it comes to these critters.
      Thanks so much for coming by today!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  5. OMG... now this was some post:/

    Snakes scare me like hell !

    Lovely photographs I must say, they are amazing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snakes scare me, too, Me! As I stated above, I did NOT take the snake photos, nor would I be able to hold a camera still enough if one were that close.
      Thanks for visiting today, and glad you enjoyed the post and the photos.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  6. Oh my that's scary alright, Martha. I love little Virginia Rose's curiosity!

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    1. It was scary, Corinne! And, Virginia's curiosity is boundless. She amazes me by what she wants to learn about.
      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Blessings, my friend!

      Delete
  7. Ewwww! I share Indiana Jone's fear of snakes. Just ewww! I am still writing and blogging,just catching my breath. I shall have nightmares all day now that I have seen this pictures! :-)

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    1. Oh, dear, Brenda, didn't want to give you nightmares! Truthfully, just seeing a snake makes my heart stop and my legs go all wobbly.
      Thanks for commenting even though I ruined your day. So sorry!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  8. You had the presence of mind to steer clear of that place. Some people will be scared and in turn, will scare the kids who are with them. Glad you were able to explain Virginia the dangers the way she could understand. :)

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    1. I'm glad I could do this, too, Janu, but I'm not at all comfortable with the snaky creatures. When I returned to the park to take some photos of the swings, etc., my legs felt like jelly just thinking a snake could be lurking around the bend!
      Thanks so much for visiting, my friend!
      Blessings always!

      Delete
  9. Oh my God, Martha. I found myself shrieking at the snake photos. In real life, I'd most definitely faint at the sight of a snake...

    So true that danger is everywhere and comes in different forms. But thank God, by asking for His Mighty shield and protection, we are kept safe from such dangers.

    Thank you for the wonderful reflections and for the beautiful prayer, Martha! God bless you and Virginia Rose and everyone in your family! <3 :-)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Thanks so much, Irene, for dropping by today.
      Your reaction to the snake photos is like those of all the others who left comments. I think I shook things up a bit, but never meant to scare to the point of shrieking. As I commented above, I'd NEVER be able to hold a camera still to get a photo of a snake; I'd be running in the other direction asap!
      And, dangers are everywhere, even when we least expect them. So glad that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present hope in times of trouble.
      Glad you enjoyed the reflection and prayer, dear one, and thank you for the blessings!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  10. I’ll never forget the snake dream I had years ago. Looking out from an upstairs window I noticed a few speckled snakes scattered about the yard near dusk. By nightfall, they’d multiplied, covering the ground so thick you couldn’t walk, like a carpet of serpents. A metaphor of the growing darkness and deception. I’ve always known this about the dream. When Virginia Rose is older, explain to her about deception, and how rampant it is growing. She’ll not only need to understand about the physical danger of copperheads, but the spiritual nature of deception. How it is on the increase these days. How it impedes our “walk.”

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    1. Debra, that is an incredibly powerful, meaningful, and telling dream. Yes, the deceivers multiply and their dark forces seem to be gathering strength, even though there are so many of us shining the light of the Lord into the world. I know that, when all is said and done, Jesus will have the victory, but the times of tribulation facing us will definitely be a test of our faith and hope.
      I will give that most important message to Virginia. There are "snakes in the grass" in every facet of our society. Knowing that our Savior loves us and wants us to walk with Him alone will give her all the strength and resolve she needs.
      Blessings, dear friend!

      Delete
  11. I've seen snakes in the zoo but the first time I saw one was in the novitiate. It was so scary... I'd often think how I would respond to an emergency of a snake bite...

    The most dangerous creatures we encounter in Manila are thieves and hold-uppers. In a dream Lisa Marie interpreted for me, the devil was in the form of a wolf...

    I pray with you. May the Lord continue to protect us and guide us. Our shield is the Word of God.

    Lots of love to you Martha.

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    1. Snakes have never been on my list of favorite creatures, although there are so many that are helpful to the environment and aren't poisonous, so, perhaps, some of my fear is irrational.
      And, that dream Lisa Marie interpreted for you? Ooh! Made me shudder! Satan does come at us in many different forms.
      Thank you for praying always! Our shield is definitely God's Word!
      Love and blessings!

      Delete

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1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ...