“So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Matthew 10:26-27 (NIV)
A long time ago, one of our dogs cornered a large snake and killed it. I went out to see what all the commotion was about and discovered the dead snake and a dog with blood all over his nose. Not knowing the identity of the snake, I panicked thinking that it might be a poisonous one. Fearing that the dog did not have long to live, I called the vet’s office, but they could not tell me what to do without knowing what kind of snake it was. The vet suggested I load the dead snake and the dog in the car and bring them both in to the office. I took a look at that big dead snake and thought, “My dog is going to die before I can get the nerve to load that snake in my car.” My grandfather was still living then, and his house was just around the corner, so I called him and he came over. He knew right away that the snake was a nice one, a blue indigo, who kept our yard and garage free of rats. I felt badly that I had thought so ill of the snake and since then, have tried not to have preconceived notions about the reptiles just because they slither along the ground and sneak up on me. When we see snakes in our yard now, I remember that they are doing me a service and quietly say thank you as I give them wide berth. That still does not make me a snake lover. I am not sure why, but periodically, we will find small ring neck snakes on the lower level of our library building. I do not know how they get in, but what I do know is that the other two women who work with me are TERRIFIED of snakes. So, guess who gets to corner the little bitty snake with his bright reddish orange ring and heave him from the dustpan out the door? No one put that in my job description! But, as supervisor, I try to set a good example. “Oh, don’t be afraid. It’s just a little snake,” I say confidently as my heart pounds and my knees feel weak. One appeared yesterday, and I was summoned from my upstairs office by loud yells for help. The capture included a lot of shrieking as I said “ooh, ooh!” and fluttered around him trying to catch him, without actually touching him. My exclamations were accompanied by piercing screams of my coworkers as he tried to get under their desks. It made me think about how sometimes when God gives us a job to do, we say, “I can’t do that. I don’t have that gift. It’s not my calling.” Instead, we should jump to it and obey. Even if it means battling snakes armed only with a dustpan. If He calls us to a ministry, He will give us the wisdom, ability and strength to get it done.