"Hey, I just killed a snake."
These were the words I heard from my 14-year old brother. He had been mowing the lawn, and I was sitting beside Mrs. P in her comfortable, town house garage.
If there is one word that sends tremors through my heart, you just read it. I firmly believe in the verse that says we shall 'crush' the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15), and I have no spiritual dilemma following it through!
Now it doesn't take a geographer or zoologist to know there are lots of snakes here in Texas. In fact, when you hear 'Texas' what picture comes to mind? Rolling desert, robust cacti, roaming cowboys maybe? And, more likely than not, you thought rattle snakes. Well, you are not too far off.
One would think, or at least the one writing this story, that rattlesnakes would stay far away from any humanized, motorized, form of settled civilization. But apparently, when it comes to snakes, they must be as dumb as they are ugly.
On a bright, beautiful, beaming suburban morning, my little brother Anthony came upon our unwelcome guest, not but four yards away from the house, coiled comfortable under the shade of Mrs. P's well watered pear tree.
Unknowingly my brother had walked right past Mrs. Snake as he mowed one length of grass and didn't notice him until his return trip when the snake was right in front of the mower. The perfect place I would say, because Anthony did what any snake-fearing person would do...he mowed right over it and chopped it to bits.
At the time, Anthony didn't actually realize it was a rattler. It wasn't until after his 'I killed a snake' declaration at which I time I followed him to the scene of the crime, that we made the discovery. While picking up the pieces, we had about decided it had been a harmless snake when I spotted a tail piece we had missed...and there attacked at the end was the infamous rattle.
Now, although I rejoice in the death of any rattlesnake, that isn't the best part of this story. The best part comes in the timing and God's hand in the events that took place before hand.
You see, Anthony had actually been late that morning. He was supposed to have been there hours earlier. But, for some reason, his alarm clock had failed to go off.
Imagine if it had.
At the time he found the snake, according to his earlier schedule, Anthony would most likely have been done and gone.
All the menfolk at my home and those of Mrs. P's sons were out and away during the morning, so there would have been no one to call for help. And I can assure you, I would not have been able to kill a rattle snake by myself.
And what if we had taken our walk later, or Mrs. had taken a walk by herself earlier in the morning before I got there, like she sometimes does? Things could have turned out very differently.
God took care of me and Mrs. P that morning. And hey, He may not have held back the sun, but I think it is pretty special that He held back the alarm.