Some friends were visiting a couple of weeks ago, and everyone decided it was a wonderful night for a fire. I happened to have plenty of firewood but very little to no kindling. The women decided to make the short trek to a nearby patch of trees to gather up the required fuel. They returned with a goodly amount, a roaring blaze ensued, and—as people like to say—a good time was had by all.
The good time became a bit marred a couple of days later when one of the women ended up in the local emergency room—twice. As it turns out, she was bitten by a copperhead. For those of you who are in the dark about copperheads, they are small, venomous snakes that inhabit most of the southern (as well as other) regions of our country.
Fangs of the Reptile
Interestingly enough, on her woodsy excursion, our friend only felt a slight prick. Since she was gathering wood, she assumed it was a splinter. A splinter indeed… The fangs of the reptile found its way into the end of her finger and that was that. Speculation has it that it was a young snake, but poisonous, nonetheless.
That probably sounds a bit sexist (I know plenty of guys who are squeamish about the slithery varmints as well). Still, the onus seems to fall on the female side of the equation. There’s good reason for that, of course. Just check out the first few pages of Scripture.
In Genesis chapter three, there’s a story I’m pretty sure most of you have read. If you haven’t, I’m almost positive you’ve heard it—or some version of it, at least.
Enter the Serpent
You may remember that Adam and Eve were the only human inhabitants of the Garden of Eden. Enter the Serpent. The wily creature tempted the unsuspecting couple, they sinned, and the rest is Biblical history. They got kicked out of paradise, never to return.
What’s worse, everyone and everything got cursed by God. There’s one line in particular that puts our snake problem in perspective. As the Lord hands down the curse for the serpent, He states, “I will put enmity between you and the woman…” And there you have it.
So the women of our neighborhood are all up in arms. The snake population seems to be on the rise, and the curse has reared its ugly head once again. My lovely Bride insists on keeping the garage door closed, and I have orders to clip the grass closer to the roots than is normally recommended. What’s a mother to do?
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]