A few weeks ago I arrived home, daughter in tow, and walked through the back door of the house to find a large garter snake apparently enjoying the warmth of our laundry room. Sarah Frances had not yet seen it and so without really thinking I quickly grabbed it with the plan of taking it back outside. A few steps into the garage the poor snake did what garter snakes do best, it wrapped its dangling self around my arm. And it was at this point, I'm a little embarrassed to admit, that I screamed, and dropped it. We both looked at each other for a bit, and I did snap a picture, but before I could get up the nerve to grab it again our visitor slithered into some wood stacked in the corner of the garage and I decided he, or she could just stay there. This story was shared excitedly to everyone by my daughter and ever since one of her friends has been begging me to put a snake in my box. So today I did.
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, something we would rather not have in our house comes slithering in the back door. God knew that being human, we would always have sin sneaking into our lives one way or another. The snake first appeared in the garden and has been with us every since. Once it is in the house, whether from sneaking in the back door or coming boldly in through the front, it can be difficult to get it out again. It takes courage to examine our heart and admit what shouldn't be there. And the hardest sins to be rid of often wrap around us trying to stay put. But take them outside we must. For we have be given the gift of Christ to help us clean even the most vile pests from our homes and hearts. All we have to do is ask.