Friday, August 19, 2005

Green Snake

The image “http://www.limpopo.nl/images/articles/img/greenmamba.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
I used to work with a woman who married a man from South Africa. Shortly after her marriage, they went there so that she could meet his family. While they were there they took a walk in the jungle. At one point during the walk she looked down and saw a beautiful tiny pencil thin neon green snake circling in and out between her feet. They stopped and her husband began to whisper to her, "Don't move or it will run away!" He softly exclaimed over the beauty of the snake while it circled his wife's feet, going in and out, in and out, in and out. All the while he whispered to her, "Don't move, you'll scare it. It will run away." With hushed voices they stood admiring it for a few more minutes until finally it grew bored with its game and slithered off into the jungle.

After they came out of the jungle, her new husband told her that the snake was one of the deadliest in the jungle, and if she had jumped or moved in anyway it would have surely bit her and she would have died immediately.

I don't know why I felt compelled to post this. It is a true story, and one I usually share with my students to teach them the value of listening and following directions, even when they can't see why they should, or don't understand. But it has also spoken to me many times in my own life, especially concerning my walk with God.
Is it about faith?
Trust?
Obedience?
Is it about how things that appear to be beautiful can actually be deadly?
Is it about the importance of being sensitive to the voice of God?
All of the above?

15 comments:

hipchickmamma said...

wow. the photo is amazing, as the story.
my vote is for all of the above.

i might add, fear (even when correct) can cause us to react without thinking and that is deadly. whereas, seeing the beauty, finding the stillness, patience (even when a distraction) can protect us and keep us safe from the danger that is ready to strike.

thanks for sharing. i love reading your thoughtful comments on the other blogs i've "seen" you at and your blog is wonderful!

Constantine said...

Interesting story. At first I thought you were going the grasshopper route. :)

I'd go with: Is it about how things that appear to be beautiful can actually be deadly.

I was wondering about why she was meeting his family for the first time after they already were married.

I was also wondering why he didn't tell her the truth. Don't move. If you do, the snake will surely bite you and you'll immediately die. Its venom is extremely deadly. Or better yet, why didn't he stomp on the snake’s head to protect his wife.

voixdange said...

Thanks HCM!

C. I think that he was most likely afraid that if he did tell her the truth, she would react and move. Also I think that being a South African, he was perhaps using survival skills passed down from his family. As far as just meeting the family, unfortunately, due to visa situations that's how it is many times when you marry a foreigner. But I don't know if it was all of the family she was meeting for the first time, or just the extended family...

I know that she told me she was angry with him for not telling her the truth. But I would have been grateful for being spared the fear of standing there knowing something deadly was at my feet... I thought his reaction was quick thinking.

hipchickmamma said...

i'm definately with you a--i would have be grateful to be exempt from the kind of fear that would have been pulsing through my veins.

that's what i was trying to say but doing so badly. i totally read it as though he lied to her so she wouldn't be afraid. most likely if he had been truthful, she would at least quivered if not jerk from the fear. but looking at the beauty, seeing the wonder of it all kept her safe, kept her from reacting badly. it's not ignorance is bliss thinking--it's reality.

sometimes fear can overcome us and cause us to harm ourselves, intentionally or not, but when we stay present with God, stay quiet and still, then we rest in the protection of God.

Cindy said...

My thoughts exactly, Hipchickmamma! We have to just trust that what He's telling us is for our good and part of the big scheme of things.

voixdange said...

Okay, I don't know why my response didn't post...but we will try it again!

Hi Cindy! Lookin Good!

HCM & Cindy --Through dangers seen and unseen, aye! Thank God!

Constantine said...

I still would've stomped on the slimy little green invader.

:)

voixdange said...

See, now this is bad, I'm hearing Seraph's comebacks in my head...


Stomp away C. You have my blessing!

Constantine said...

Really? I'm a little surprised, but hey, surprises can be good.

Well, if you ever want to go "Seraph" on me please do. Of course, the one difference is that what I say in response to my buddy Seraph he deserves, but of course you don't...so I won't. Go "Seraph" if you wish. I won't hold it against you.
:)

voixdange said...

No... I don't want to go Seraph on you at all, its just that now when I hear words along the line of slime and turd... my thoughts automatically recall Seraph & C dialogue...

Constantine said...

Yeah, Seraph and I go rounds sometimes. It's funny and fun for and to me, although there's always a hint of truth in what we say.

Have you ever talked to Padre Neo via email about Seraph?

voixdange said...

No, but I have noticed that they always post at about the same time...

madcapmum said...

I've always been under the impression that Seraph is Fr. Neo's alter-ego, myself. We all have our little hobbies, I guess...

voixdange said...

LOL
I thought that perhaps as well, but didn't pursue it because I felt I would rather not know for sure... I like a little mystery...

madcapmum said...

I'm thinking maybe I'll do the same, create an online alter-ego and crash my own blog. Think of the possibilities! All the repressed monomaniacal blithering I'm forced to listen to internally could finally find outward expression! It's almost too much temptation to resist.