Monday, February 20, 2006

Desert Journal - Entry 3

Number 21:4-10
And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."

Brothers of the monastery,

Snakes, stars, and sand. Each have a story to tell and I dare say they have finally found a listener, for in my circuitous trek I have again and again been instructed by my seemingly ever-present companions to slow down and take note of them. And I have. Especially snakes! But I must say that I followed Moses example and with pole (constructed from the Ocotillo) I attached to the top a fair representation of a snake -- certainly not bronze -- but I found the tattered remains of a tire inner tube and if I don't say so myself, tied to the top of the pole, it has a certain resemblance to the Black Mamba. So with Ocotillo pole in hand, I have parted the desert sands of feisty snakes, poisonous or nonpoisonous -- I know not -- for to me all snakes look alike, slithering serpents that catch only my fleeting glance as I spin in my tracks and make haste in the opposite direction -- these creatures will certainly receive no "... by crickey! ain't 'e a beaut!" from me.

And I must admit early on that I was much like the Israelites setting out from Mount Hor, complaining about everything: "There is nothing to eat here and nothing to drink. And we hate this wretched manna!" But now I grumble no more. For even if my beef jerky supply is getting low, I'm no longer fretting, for fretting undermines faith. And it is faith that God requires of us. So, as a not so gentle reminder for those times when our faith sags, God created snakes. Yes, I now believe -- by crickey! -- that God created snakes in order for us to appreciate what we have. For when my faith dwindles and my lamentings increase, that is when the snakes begin to appear.

Brother Bartleby

1 comment:

Newvictorian said...

Amen, Brother.

I'm taking a comment you made over at One Cosmos and turning it into a post! Now, that's efficiency.

With a link to this most beautifully and constructively confusing blog, of course.