I was looking for them -- long, sleek, footless, fanged creatures – but not that day.
On this particular day in Africa, I was unaware, distracted by a powerful worship service with the children at the orphanage and a lovely lunch to follow.
We sat back in our chairs and relaxed under the large tree, out on the veranda at a local resort restaurant. White table clothes waved in the breeze. Our team members gathered for a special lunch after church. We shared stories about our experiences in Africa, what we were learning and what God was revealing to us.
It was a beautiful day and we were basking in what God was doing.
Unexpectedly over the laughter and jovial talk, I heard my son William (now my hero) shout …
“LOOK! A SNAKE!”
Ten feet from our table, a four foot (or was it twenty foot?) long, dark gray snake lifted the front part of its body off of the tile floor, bobbing up and down as he slithered forward, attacking in our direction.
It did not look friendly. It looked evil.
Truth is, any snake in Africa is considered unfriendly. No garden variety gardener snakes there. One can always assume they are poisonous, perhaps even deadly.
I’m not a big fan of snakes, and certainly, not unknown, aggressive, venomous, “sure-to-seek and kill” African snakes.
We all jumped to our feet and backed off. Our host, Benedict threw a chair at the snake to slow it down and yelled for the workers to “do something!” We scattered away while the snake sped under our table, making it’s way in and out of our friend Adrienne’s bag, and continuing on … crazed.
The workers finally came running with sticks and killed the beast.
No one knows where it came from. We think from the tree over-head. It dropped in for lunch, nearly scared the britches off of us and then it was a goner. I’m just glad that none of us were.
We all walked a little more cautiously for the rest of our trip. Well, at least I did. I looked up in trees, in tall brush and under my bed. Thankfully, no more sightings.
God used this encounter of a 'snakely' kind to remind me that sometimes, evil does drop in for lunch or in life. Seems like the old adage stands true. When you least expect it, expect it. So ... Be aware. Be wise. Be ready.