It seems that no matter where I am led, I always end up working with snakes. Part of this is because in Canada many of our snakes are species at risk. This means they are in danger of going extinct if nothing is done to help protect them. But who wants to help a snake?
Snakes are icky, weird, and evil, aren’t they? Maybe it's their lack of eyelids (snakes can’t blink) or their being able to eat things larger than their head in one mouthful, but there is just something about snakes that many people don’t like. Yet the more time I spend learning about snakes, the more I appreciate them.
It’s amazing all the different forms creation takes. A snake, without arms or legs, can outclimb and outswim me. But what good is a snake? Would you believe me if I told you snakes are helper animals? It's true! They are important for controlling populations of things like insects, frogs, and rodents. They are also important as food for other animals. But many snakes are at risk because of habitats being destroyed, habitats divided by roadways, or because people kill them just because they are snakes. It’s important to remember that, like us, they are part of the creation God loves and asks us to take good care of (Gen. 1:26). Just like everything in God’s creation, they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14) and “very good” (Gen. 1:31).
Just as we often judge animals such as snakes by how they look, we can also be very quick to judge people based on what they look like. James 2:1-13 reminds us that favoring people based on what they look like is wrong, and in 1 Samuel 16:7 God reminds us that he does not look at people’s outsides, but their insides. Sometimes something (or someone) that looks different can seem scary or weird. But by taking time to learn and try to understand them we can discover amazing things!
Is there a creature that makes you a little uncomfortable? Try learning more about it and how its uniqueness makes it a super creature specifically designed for God’s intended purpose.
Read Colossians 3:12, Luke 6:35-36, and 1 Corinthians 13. How do you think getting to know someone is related to these verses?
About the Author
Susie Vander Vaart is an environmental educator and ecologist who spends most of her time outside exploring creation.