Springtime in the Calvert household is a little on the wild side. The school year wraps up, several big events are planned at church, and I immerse myself in planning a recital with my piano students. From April to June, there isn’t a spare moment.
So it was, one evening late in May last year, that I experienced a delightful little surprise. My presence at an activity was not necessary, and so Troy and the children suggested that I stay at home, all alone, to recuperate. Ahhh. All alone in a quiet house—absolute bliss.
I decided to read and rest, but, first, there were a few things that needed to be put in the basement storage room. Barefoot, I walked down the two flights of stairs to accomplish my mission. Only one of the three lights was on at the bottom, but the dimness was sufficient for my purpose. As I walked across the floor, I happened to look down and smiled at one of David’s plastic snakes. I almost stepped on it and thought to myself, “That David! I’m gonna get that boy for leaving his stuff lying around.”
Then the snake moved. I recoiled in horror and looked again. Was I seeing things in the dim light? When the snake moved its head I high-tailed it out of there, deciding that the job I intended to do could wait.
Safely back upstairs, I decided to read until the others came home, leaving the solution to the little problem in the basement to the men in the family. Then I fell asleep. Over the next few days, the intricate details of a busy mom’s life overtook me, and I forgot all about the snake. It wasn’t until some time later, while talking to my husband on the phone, that I suddenly remembered.
“Oh, by the way, there’s a snake in our basement.”
I could tell he was surprised.
“What? You saw a snake! Two days ago? In the basement? Go and kill it immediately!”
Now, while I may not be dreadfully afraid of snakes, I am still a girl, and I believe snake-killing falls into the category of “man’s work.” There was no way I was going in search of that viper, and I told my husband so.
“Then send the boys down. You’ve got to take care of this now. They are not to come upstairs until that thing is dead!”
Our two sons, Nate and David, clothed in gloves and snow boots and armed with missions-trip machetes, proceeded to the basement. There ensued a mixture of banging, yelling, thumping, and general chaos, but I’m happy to report that, at the end, the intrepid hunters emerged from the basement with a headless and very bloody two-foot snake, which we later identified as a copperhead.
How that snake got in is a mystery—it was the first we have seen in our house and, I hope, will be the last. But once we knew the snake was there we had to deal with it because it clearly didn’t belong in our home.
Sound familiar? I am so often “surprised” by sin in my heart. I wish the sin weren’t there. But once the Holy Spirit reveals sin’s presence, I need to go to work to get rid of it. I can’t afford to sleep on it, and, unlike the boys with that copperhead, I’m the only one who can deal with my sin. A real incentive to me is the thought that, if I don’t get rid of a sin, it could breed a whole “snake” family. Ewww.