Ever Been Bitten

Ever Been Bitten?

Growing up, my uncle and his family lived at a southern national nature preserve - we called it a swamp. I loved going there. However, there were many hazards associated with living in the South Georgia swamps. There were bugs - I mean BIG BUGS; mosquitoes, bees, and roaches. There are also other fearful creatures like, skunks, mice, wild boar, bobcats, alligators, bears, and of course the occasional rattlesnake or moccasin.
One day my cousins and some neighbor kids were playing baseball in the field next to my cousin’s house. My cousin Joe was batting, made a great hit, and took off running. He rounded first and headed for second. He got almost there when he yelled and screamed and fell. He then got right up and took off running for their house. As he was running home, he was yelling and crying, "A rattlesnake bit me!! A rattlesnake bit me!!" Sure enough my older cousin found the snake and killed it - a pygmy rattler! With departed pigmy rattlesnake in hand my older cousin too rushed to the house with the dead reptile.
My bitten cousin arrived at home, yelled to his mom, and she came out of the house upon hearing the commotion. As she stood in the door to the house, Joe yelled to his mom, "A rattlesnake bit me, get me to a hospital!!" My aunt, his mother, calmly said, "You wait here. Let me fix my hair and make-up and we'll go." And with that she turned and walked back into the house! She had "Snake-shock." It wasn't until my older cousin arrived with the rattlesnake on a stick that she was fully aware of what had taken place. They then jumped into the car, my aunt and boys in a total frenzy, and got my cousin to the hospital (hair not fixed and make-up not on). By the time they had arrived at the hospital, his entire leg was purple from the infectious poison. He recovered in a few days as good as new.
So...it is always vitally important that we listen intently. We should never assume we know what someone’s need might be. We should never put words or needs in people's mouths. We must never assume what another is saying or is going to say. We are called to be patient and listen carefully and ask how we might be most helpful to another. What one might tell you could change your life or their life, if you listen well, respond to another as they are needing.
How might you begin to listen to other’s needs? How might we, as a community of faith, meet that person’s need? Well, gotta go, someone’s banging on my door. Hope there are no rattlesnakes in my yard! 
-Pastor Ray


Last Published: January 5, 2023 11:22 AM
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