This story is from Liz Cutis Higgs, I have only been acquainted with her children's stories (The Parable of the Pumpkin Patch, my favorite, she also has the Parable of the Lily, and a few others) until today, I read, "Help! I'm laughing and I Can't Get Up" while enjoy the brief coolness of our front porch this morning.
When Eve Met the Snake, She Wasn't Dressed Either
It was a hot, dry summer on Betty and Lloyd's Kansas farm, so hot that everyone was looking for a cool, shady place to camp out, including the snakes. Betty lived in an old rock houses, and they were in the process of adding a bathroom. One evening as she was toweling off after a refreshing bath in the unfinished bathroom, Betty heard something scritch, scritching across the bathroom floor.
Glancing in the direction of the noise, she spotted a spine-tingling, fear-inducing sight: A snake was headed right for her! With a leap and a bound that would put Superman to shame, she raced through the bedroom, dining room, and kitchen and was out the door, across the porch, and to the end of the walk where her husband intercepted her mad dash.
Betty admits, "coming to my senses, I realized I did not have on a stitch of clothing, Modesty overcoming fear, I sheepishly and cautiously went back in the house, covered myself with a tea towel and perched on the kitchen table until Lloyd disposed of the harmless garden snake."
Were her troubles over? Of course not. She began fretting about their neighbors, John and Mattie, who lived across the road. Had they been sitting on their screened in porch? Betty's exit had been fast but far from quiet. Had she attracted their attention?
She would soon find out, since she worked with Mattie. She avoided her at work the next day, and instead described her great adventure to her best friend, Wilma, including her fear that she might have provided a free "peep" show for her neighbors.
Betty explains, "Wilma soothed me as a good friend would and assured me she would discreetly find out if Mattie was aware of any goings-on at our house. Lunchtime came, and Wilma gave me the bad news. Mattie and John had been sitting on the porch. They heard the shrieks and saw the whole thing."
Betty avoided her neighbors for the next few weeks until one day Wilma confessed the truth: Mattie knew nothing, heard nothing, and saw nothing!
I think I'd be more afraid of Wilma than a garden snake.
After I quit laughing, the last line, it stuck to me. Hmmmm....Fretting over what might be... do you ever do that? I fret over what I could of, should of, or might have done, to help or to offend someone. Well, God has his finger on it, and the thought came to mind, how often, I have let "Wilma", let's call it the Devil, tells me stories that bring angst, and that kind of brain noise - brings about a loss of relationship because we lose our freedom in the fretting. Not so funny.
God didn't design us for fret but for freedom.