Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes . . ."

Matthew 3:7
But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them, "You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?


Snakes never have and never will be one of my favorite creatures.  As a child, I am scared witless of them.  Every time dad takes for a walk in the woods in warm weather, I always have my eyes peeled so as not to accidentally step on one.

For, in our woods, vipers lurk.  The ominous rattlesnake and the venomous copperhead.  Each colored to blend seamlessly with the leafy forest floor.

One wrong step . . .

And, even though Dad assures us that most snakes are harmless, I don't buy into it.  Just the sight of a black Racer slithering through the grass in our yard is enough to send me screaming and scrambling to the house.  Staying indoors for the rest of the day.

Snakes.  From the temptation of Eve to the present day "snakes in the grass", they are portrayed as menacing, treacherous, untrustworthy.

Downright evil!

So, imagine my surprise when my daughter, Sara, returns from church summer camp with this announcement:

"Mom!  The new nature center is open at camp now, and guess what?  They have a snake named Peanut Butter and I got to hold him more than once!"

After figuratively picking myself up off the floor, I manage a wan smile.

"Oh, really?"  And, can't help but add, "And, you weren't scared?"

"At first, I was," she admits, "but, when I saw another girl hold him, I just had to try.  He is so sweet and gentle and silky to touch.  Oh, Mom, when we go to family retreat, we can go to the nature center and you can hold him, too!'

Over my dead body . . .

"We'll see, honey."

When, several months later, it's family retreat weekend, I'm hoping Sarah has forgotten all about Peanut Butter.  Not a chance!  She drags me, mentally kicking and screaming, to see her beloved snake.

There is already a small crowd of children around the young man holding Peanut Butter for all to see.  I observe the little hands stroking the snake as it slides up and down his arms.

"Go ahead, Mom, touch him!"  Sarah urges.

I sidle closer.  Grit my teeth.  Hold my breath.  Reach out tentatively.

Touch!

Wow!  Silky!

"See, Mom, it wasn't all that bad now, was it?"
~
Do you have a fear of snakes?  If not, is there another creature that scares you?

Will you pray with me?
We thank You, Father, for the beauty and variety of Your marvelous creation.  We know each living thing has a role to play and is treasured by You.  Help us to appreciate, even if it's from a safe distance, the wonder in all Your works.  Amen.

Readings
Psalms 26, 28 or 36, 39
Exodus 19:1-16
Colossians 1:1-14
Matthew 3:7-12  

24 comments:

  1. I'm not a big fan of snakes or spiders either, but when I began to understand them a bit more I wasn't as scared.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Cathy!
      I think trying to understand something for what it truly is is the first step in overcoming our fears. Thanks to Peanut Butter, I'm not as leery of snakes as I once was.
      Blessings to you!

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  2. I detest snakes though I understand they play a huge part in the rodent control etc. Copperheads are common where I live thus my feet are shuffled when wandering in the woods...If they don't cross my path then they get to live another day. Dogs are regularly bitten and Erin was no exception as a copperhead sank a fang into her paw which swelled up immediately and caused lots of pain but all was good soon after. Tell Sarah to keep peanut butter away from me ;)

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    1. Thanks so much for dropping in today, David!
      Oh, poor Erin! That must have been so painful for her, the dear soul.
      And, yes, I think copperheads should be Georgia's state snake; they're everywhere, although I've been heartened not to have seen any in the woods where we live. Hope it stays that way!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  3. Don't like snakes. When I was in the amazon jungle .. spending the night in a wooden cabin I was greeted by flying frogs in the shower.. went for a crocodile watching ride on a boat and woke up to a water snake starring down from the ceiling! So Yes i don't like snakes....

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Savira!
      Oh, my! This all gave me the shivers! After your experiences in the jungle, I KNOW that is not a place I would ever want to visit. :)
      Blessings to you!

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  4. I can't think of any particular vermin that I'm phobic about but I don't like being surprised by any of them. Random creepy crawlers, subtle slitherers, I hate them all. There is nothing worse than having somebody point at you and say EW! LOL!!
    Martha, you're a hoot!!
    Love!!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Leah!
      I agree - the surprise factor adds much to our fear of and reaction to a bug or other pests. I know all these creatures serve a purpose, but I much prefer they serve it far away from me! :)
      Blessings to you!

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  5. No fear of snakes. The only thing I can think of that I fear more than anything else...would be SPIDERS....shudder!!! Eeeek. Thinking about them makes my skin crawl,lol.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, RoseAnn!
      So, it's spiders that make you quiver and quake? I must admit, I'm not a great fan of these, either, but I did make "friends" one year with a Garden Spider who wove her web on my deck and enjoyed watching her spin it and repair it every day. Reminded me of Charlotte!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  6. I am petrified of them and I admit it took courage for you to even touch Peanut Butter. I havent yet had a chance to stroke one but I wonder if faced one day with one will I have the courage. There is so much fear associated with snakes when in fact they do not harm you unless you try to harm them.

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Rimly!
      Yes, there is so much fear, whether ingrained or taught, of snakes. And, you are so right - if we leave them alone, they certainly leave us alone.
      Seriously, I think you'd have the courage to touch one if it's being held by the right person. Their skin is amazingly cool and soft to the touch. What a surprise to me!
      Blessings to you!

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  7. Don't know if this is REALLY true or just a wives tale, Martha; but I've heard it said on many occasions that there are only two fears that people are born with:
    --Snakes and Spiders.

    Snakes don't REALLY bother me. Nor do Spiders. Unless the spiders are big and jumping. Wolf Spiders can be scary. My Mon has them around her house. An let me tell you, the first time I saw on jump, my heart nearly jumped out of my body. Now that I know what they are and that they DO jump I find them not so intimidating. Still don't like the look of them but they are part of this wonderful world and we should respect them.

    What I don't like to see, what I cringe at and what I ALWAYS speak up about is when someone wants to kill a spider, kill a bee, kill a snake what have you. Why? Because they are in your space?

    Why not just move them out of your space? If they are in a building, they probably don't want to be there either. Find a container and shoo them into it. Then release them outside. I ALWAYS do that. I feel so bad when someone arbitrarily kills something because they are:
    A. Afraid of it.
    B. Don't want in their space.
    --
    Chris

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Chris!
      That is such an interesting thought - are we born with this fear? I just now answered a comment above where I said "ingrained or taught" with regard to our fears of snakes and spiders. Are we on the same page, or what?
      I, too, hate it when people arbitrarily kill an innocent creature out of fear or inconvenience. It's just not right. I try to capture and release whenever I can and pray the little guys stay outside where they belong in the first place. Just not sure how I would shoo a snake out of the house, though, without fainting first! LOL!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  8. I've been stung by scorpions and bit by spiders, but fortunately I have not had a bad encounter with a snake (of the animal kind) yet.

    I don't mind being in their vicinity, but I am not sure I would touch or hold one.

    I'm not going to choose to swim with sharks either, although I was recently given the opportunity.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Dusty, and welcome!
      Ooh! I did swim with sharks and other gentle giants at the Georgia Aquarium for my recent birthday. It was an experience unlike any other and one I will always remember. You might want to rethink that one! :)
      And, yes, the snakes of the human variety are ones we need to avoid more than those that slide on the ground. I agree!
      Blessings to you!

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    2. The shark encounter I was offered was to swim in water that had been chummed with massacred fish... and they wanted me to pay $$ for this.

      Delete
    3. Oh, in that case, forget it! :) You absolutely made the right decision there, Dusty!

      Delete
  9. Dear Martha,
    I must admit...I am not a spider or any insect lover. I love animals and appreciate their beauty and wisdom to survive. Can't wait until the earth restores to a Paradise as was first promised so that we can play and have fun with all of them. Great post!!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting today, Andy!
      Wow! What a great vision you share here - when the lion lies down with the lamb . . . what a day that will be indeed!
      Blessings to you!

      Delete
  10. You made me think of the creatures I'm afraid of even if I haven't seen them yet nor touched them :P

    I'm scared of mice. I saw hot it bit my brother during his experiment.

    Of snakes too even though we have been taught first aid...oh well.

    We have come to associate evil with the snake, that's why perhaps it looks ominous even if it's truly not.

    I pray with you. May we learn to love all the creatures God created. They are here for a purpose.

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    1. Always happy to have you stop by, Melissa!
      I'm with you - I'm not a big fan of mice, although my kids had some as pets as they were growing up, and rats are not very appealing, either.
      And, you are quite right about evil being associated with snakes. My friend, Chris, posted above that we could be born instinctively not liking either spiders or snakes? Interesting thought.
      Thank you for praying with me - we know God's design is perfect in creation whether we can see it or not. We need to respect it and appreciate it.
      Blessings to you!

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  11. I know that all of these creatures have a place in God's plan for nature, but I just don't get it sometimes.Mice and lizards and snakes, of course. You must love Sara a lot to touch Peanut Butter!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Corinne!
      All I can say is, God certainly has a great sense of humor! Oh, the variety and strangeness of some of His creatures. :)
      Touching Peanut Butter was a milestone for me. I'm glad I did it, but I'm still not fond of snakes.
      Blessings to you!

      Delete

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