It is officially that time of year; a time to remember that dreadful creature that elicits so much fear from our helpmates. I can think of very few things that might cause the sort of reaction we see from our wives when they happen across that dreaded serpent: A mugger hiding in the backseat, or in the closet of their room; perhaps, or maybe their child standing to close to the edge of a cliff. I suppose there are other things that may bring the same fear and anxiety as this slithering little creature, however they are things that are usually associated with our children. A good mother would protect her child at any cost. My wife is a good mother.
Driving down these old country roads in the early mornings and late afternoons we are likely to see these creatures slithering across the pavement in front of us. As the enmity begins to build we find ourselves swerving across two lanes of traffic; not wanting to miss any chance we have at eliminating this great threat, and even-ing the score. It makes sense that we should see them during the cool of the day, after all it was during this same time that our Lord walked with Adam in the Garden. Sacrifices were likewise made during the morning and evening hours, and Christ himself withdrew for solemn prayer before the sun would rise and after it’s setting. It’s almost as if these dastardly little menaces are still on the prowl looking for that promised son; appearing in the hours he is most likely to be found. Instead what he finds is the one to whom God has placed enmity within, and it usually ends in the demise of the slithering little trickster.
This happened to be the case yesterday morning at the Denton homestead. My son, Justin, heard the dog barking and like any good son went to investigate. What he found was more than he had bargained for; A long brown snake lurking in the shadows of the dogs pen, likely waiting to strike at the next unassuming passerby. Luckily, he was spotted by the trained eye of an eight year old boy and his faithful dog. Justin immediately reported his find to his mother, who hurriedly went for an unloaded pistol (though she didn’t know it) intent on meeting this threat with deadly force. They did manage to kill the snake, though not with a fatal shot to his head. Afterwards giving it a proper burial; the pond. Though I am sure they would have rather had a lake of fire, that wont come soon enough.
As usual I picked up the kids from my wife’s place of employment after I got off work. It was then that I had the privilege to hear the whole account again from the perspective of a trained eight year old snake assassin. It may have been slightly different than his mothers account. When we arrived home Justin immediately made a b-line for the final resting place of this once ferocious beast. When I asked what he was doing his response was “making sure it’s still dead”. Secretly I think he may have been relishing a bit in the victory over his enemy. But I must say, I am proud; proud of the fact that this little boy has his eyes open, realizing that there are things lurking in the shadows, waiting for an opportunity to strike and to destroy, and that he is willing to put himself in harms way to protect the ones he loves. One day he will understand, spiritually, how important it is for a husband and father to lead with their eyes wide open. When that day comes I pray he is still just as willing to place himself between the enemy and his family, eliminating the threat with extreme prejudice. Whether idols, lust, pride, hatred or any other number of sins. I pray he will confront them all.
As I sit and reflect on this whole incident, I cant help but think about Eve, and how she likely didn’t understand what all this meant, and how it wouldn’t be until generations later that all of what was spoken would be realized. Mary, being forced to watch as that terrible serpent makes another grand appearance, working through men to accomplish his will. Watching, as he is crushed by the weight of mans sin and pierced for our transgressions. The pain she must have felt, the bitter agony she must have been in as she watched it all unfold. The promised son fulfilling his father’s will; standing in the gap and shielding his children from that fatal blow that would strike him in his heel. Yet, He overcomes, the poison injected was not nearly enough to prevent our Lord from crushing his head. Victory is our cry, and like my son, we can visit that place where this battle was won, we need only to remember that blessed empty tomb.