I do not like snakes. I have a zoology degree, so I understand a bit about them. I don’t think they’re malicious, I just think they’re creepy. When I almost stepped on a large blacksnake as a child, I found myself airborne, and landed about three feet behind where I had originally been standing. I can still picture the scene. My innate dislike apparently gave me the power of flight.
Now, many of my fellow native West Virginians handle snakes as part of their worship services. I never thought it was a good idea, so I never went to such a service. I know that the Bible says that believers will be able to ‘tread upon serpents’ and that in the age to come, infants will be able put their hands into the holes of poisonous snakes and all. But I never thought that God meant for us to pick them up and say, ‘well howdy mister snake, how ya’ doing?’ I thought it was more like ‘I’ll keep you safe while you’re busy doing my work.’ But of course, I guess that’s between the people handling them and God.
However, I was recently impressed by the healing power of snakes. A patient came to the ER a day after being evaluated for head trauma from being hit with a stick in a fight. It was his second visit, his first involving a normal head CT.
His complaint the second day was of blindness. A tragedy, really! But not for long…
The patient overheard the nurses and our physician discussing a snakebite that had just arrived. Here’s what the nurse’s note said.
‘Arrived to bed 5 to talk with MD at bedside regarding an urgent situation. Pt. overheard situation and proclaimed that he would be able to help (identify a snake). Pt. asked the snake be placed in his hand and he looked at it and stated ‘this is a garden snake.’ Staff stated, ‘I thought you were blind.’ No response by patient.
Glory hallelujah! Another snake healing has occurred! The patient was discharged uneventfully some time later, his vision apparently having returned.
I guess I shouldn’t dislike snakes so much…