At this very moment, I am sitting in my grandparent’s living room, looking out the small bay window. There is a small evergreen tree outside this window. I was sitting in an armchair when I turned to look out the window at the tree, and what should I see but a pair of eyes looking right back at me! Snake eyes, to be exact. I have never been truly frightened by snakes, but I certainly don’t care to meet them. Anyway, this snake was simply curled up on a couple of the branches, looking in the window at me. About ten minutes ago, he had started crawling away up the tree, and now I can only see about the last foot of him unless I stand up. He seems to be having a difficult time finding a way out of the flimsy branches and bushes. I did a Google search for snakes in Missouri, and I believe that this snake is a Black Rat Snake. He has shiny black scales and a white underbelly and is about 3.5 or 4 feet long. The handbook I found also mentioned that these snakes are very good at climbing trees. This snake certainly seems to be enjoying my grandfather’s tree!
In my short lifetime, I have happened to meet a few snakes (and I mean that literally). I met a garden snake under a tree, and that time I was terrified. Another time, my sister and cousin found a whole nest of little baby racers (I can’t remember what species, but I think they were black with red stripes and yellow spots). At camp one year, I had to assure a group of second graders that the green garden snake they saw was, in fact, not venomous and would not attack them. Another summer, my dad found a small gray garden snake under a cement block – unfortunately, we accidentally dropped the cement block on it. However, this snake is a lot bigger than I have ever seen in the wild before, and I am not going to try to go out and see it. Yet, on this Easter afternoon, it has made me think.
In the Garden of Eden, when Eve met the serpent, she met him in the tree. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, actually. Certainly, Eve didn’t think that snake was very scary, but I also don’t think it was any small garden snake or even a Black Rat Snake. That snake would have looked like it held all the power he was telling Eve she could have after she ate the fruit. I know that in life, we often meet our snakes just like the one Satan impersonated. These “snakes” are evil, yet they aren’t frightening. Their power and strength are enticing, and we feel as if we cannot turn away, just as Eve did not turn away. Yet, that is why God sent His son Jesus Christ for us. Jesus came to repair the mistakes of Adam and Eve and to forgive the sins that separate all people from God. It was on Easter Sunday that Jesus completed his great task and allows me to have a personal relationship with God, my Heavenly Father. I don’t think that I will ever forget this Easter when I was able to meet the snake in the garden (outside the living room, I suppose) and face him without fear.