Little Girl loved to take adventure walks. So, one day, beginning in her own neighborhood, she skipped through the familiar streets humming a familiar tune. So ingrained in her mind was the layout of her town, she believed she could walk it blindfolded.
Not out of duty, rather it was love which enabled her to memorize every straight place and all the turns and bends in the roads. More importantly she knew the names or at least the faces of the people who occupied each house. This was home, and it was filled with her cherished people.
All the sounds of her town filled the air in concert creating it’s own familiar song. She recognized and differentiated between the morning tune of the birds and squirrels from the evening rhapsody of the katydids accompanied by the occasional hoot of the owls calling across the woods.
On this particular afternoon, the sun shone so brightly across the housetops and onto the grassy landscapes that something large and luminous reflected back at her. Little Girl caught a glimpse of the shining object just for a moment, which caused her eager skip to slow to a stroll.
Perhaps she imagined it. Just maybe the gleaming visual was a mirage created by the heat of the day. But then just as she was sure it was her imagination, the brilliance of the far off object reflected in her eye once again. Little Girl stopped and stared long with a pondering thought.
“What could it be?”, she wondered out loud.
And, she wondered to herself, how did it get back there entangled behind all these homes and trees without her notice? This was HER neighborhood and she was very aware of all that belonged, and all that didn’t. Most assuredly this large and quite intrusive shining object was not a welcome addition to the landscape!
“What on earth could it be? How did it get here? And why hasn’t anyone sounded an alarm?!”
Most always in the mood for solving a mystery, Little Girl backtracked on her path to find the place where she first caught sight of the intruder. Feeling confident of her ability to find the truth with the sun shining its spotlight for assistance, she once again moved forward following the twisting and turning object which wrapped in and out and around the houses, through the landscapes and over bushes and behind trees.
At one point, the object had been laid bare toward the front of a very familiar house and lay exposed right along the sidewalk. As she pondered the immense black shining object, it vibrated with a ripple like an ocean wave. She jumped backward with a start as she realized this was a living thing rather than an inanimate object.
“What is it?! And how did it get into my neighborhood?”, she exclaimed right out loud to no one in particular.
The end of it, or was it the beginning, was buried behind an enormous rock. Perplexed by the irony of it all, Little Girl pondered with greater curiosity, how this intruder had been passed by without creating alarm. Excitedly, yet at the same time nervously she wondered why all manner of emergency personnel had not been summonsed to her neighborhood.
Now with increasing passion, the girl exclaimed, “Hello, is anyone home? Doesn’t anyone see what’s happened here? Intruder alert! Emergency…Someone call 911”
However, with this last outburst shouted into the air, the object slithered once again and an immense head raised up from behind the rock. It was not just a snake. The mystery had been solved most assuredly. The invader had unveiled itself as an enormous, shiny blue-black serpent.
As the serpent’s head, as large as the girl’s entire being, moved toward her with its forked tongue reaching for her with intimidating force and proximity. The girl backed away. Was this a nightmare? Perhaps she had been adventuring in the sun for too long without water. Once again she wondered to herself whether this was a mirage.
Again, the serpent lunged its ugly forceful head toward her. Little Girl was instantly slapped into reality with the realization that figments of our imagination don’t strike and lunge. Yet, if this was truly her reality, the question remained unanwered…
How could it be that she was the only one in the entire neighborhood who was aware of this menace?
Frustrated and angry, she through her arms in the air, and muttered, “Someone should do something. This isn’t right. A serpent doesn’t belong here.”
The serpent continued to glare at Little Girl, and she sensed this serpent was gradually squeezing the houses and the landscape tighter with its contracting muscles. Little Girl understood within the wordless exchange; it had no intention of leaving. It was in her neighborhood to take over – to kill, to steal and to destroy all she loved and held dear.
Little Girl’s fear melted into indignation. Her heart burned at the audacity of this massive serpent invading HER neighborhood. As the reality of imminent danger took hold of the girl, her arms flailed about at the injustice of this revelation. All at once she turned on her heels exclaiming, “SOMEONE SHOULD DO SOMETHING!”
Three steps on her way, she recognized the still small voice inside of her, and she halted. Her ranting stopped and her arms dropped to her sides. Yes, someone should do something. And she knew that she was the one who had uncovered the mysterious invader. Her eyes had been opened. It was her responsibility to do something.
With more than a bit of trepidation, she turned back to face the serpent. Simply out of obedience to the still small voice, she drew the sword from her side and raised it high over her head. Knowing that a slice of the sword would create an awful gush of mess, Little Girl clinched her lips and squeezed her eyes shut tight. She counted down in her mind – 3, 2 – preparing to drop the sword on the serpent’s head right as she reached the number 1.
Suddenly, through her veiled eyes she recognized darkness was enveloping her. Perhaps the sun, also wanting to avoid the mess, had ducked behind a cloud. However, before she could sneak a peek, she heard the definitive slice of a mighty sword and felt the earth shake beneath her as she heard a resounding thud on the pavement before her.
In an instant, light once again covered and warmed the girl. She opened her eyes and in amazement witnessed the serpent’s head had been skillfully removed from its body. The intruder was no longer a threat to her or to her neighborhood.
Someone had done something! As the reality of the moment gripped Little Girl’s mind and heart she pondered the state of her sword still raised and clean. Looking down upon her own clothing, even to her shoes, she realized not one spot of blood had touched her. Immediately sensing she was not alone in her battle she turned to see the outline of an otherworldly wing and the piercing glimmer of an enormous sword covered in blood.
Little Girl knew even then that she would be pondering this experience for many days to come, and possibly even years into eternity. What she recognized in the moment though was profound and would shape her decision making for the rest of her life. (Oh how she hoped this experiential lesson would mark her for the rest of her life.)
Once she recognized a danger no one else seemed to see, and accepted the truth that she was the one who was to “do something”, she turned to face the opposition, sword raised and ready to battle. In the moment of her choosing obedience, the angel of the Lord covered her with His mighty wing. He fought the battle for her. Little Girl’s only responsibility had been to obey – to accept her role – to let love push her to action.
The little adventurous girl would be eternally grateful. Though most of her neighbors never noticed danger lurking within, and would not recognize her selfless gift of service, her love for her neighborhood and the people who dwell within only grew ever stronger and more protective. More than that, Little Girl’s love for and trust in her Father consistently shined brighter in her heart and mind and strength with every passing day.
Little Girl knew, without a doubt, her Father would never leave her. To God be the Glory. Amen!