Our Uninvited Evil Guest


Fear gripped our house at midnight. It was a Friday night not like any other Friday night. Our college bound children had informed us prior that we were to provide shelter to six youth-aged visitors they were bringing home. My husband and I agreed that we could easily accommodate them, and that was what we were expecting that night when we went to bed. Then, the phone rang at 12:35 a.m. and our comfortable sleep-laden bodies were awoken with a jolt.

Jasmine, our daughter, called me to say that she and the others would be arriving within 45 minutes. She said, “Mom, there’s not going to be six coming over after all, it’ll be eleven instead.”
“Eleven! Wow. Okay, we’ll do our best to fit them in some way, some how.” I assured her.
After hanging up, I turned to my husband, who now lay awake, to tell him the news. We began to plan what we needed to do when we were abruptly interrupted by a loud ssssssssss sound.
“What is that? It sounds like water is gushing someplace in the house,” I said.
My husband sat up to listen more attentively. It was our custom to close our bedroom door every night. Three of our small inside dogs sleep with us when our children are away to college. They, too, heard the strange noise, jumped to position themselves in front of the bedroom door, and growled. My husband approached the door and shouted, “Oh my God!”

“What? What is it?” I remarked with concern.

With a nervous tone he yelled, “There’s a rattler in our house!”

The dogs started barking and the snake shook his rattler even louder. No doubt to us it was ready to strike whatever came through that closed door that was between it and whoever was making all the commotion. “Don’t open that door!” I shouted. “The kids will be arriving within a half-an-hour through our front door. We must quickly think of a plan.”

Thankfully, we had a large round and thick doggy bed in our bedroom. The plan was to use it as a shield. My husband would throw it over the snake as he opened the door. I was to keep the dogs inside with me. He got the doggy bed and right before opening the door said a prayer, “In the Name of Jesus, we are in control!” In one quick moment he opened the door and threw the heavy bed right on the snake’s raised head. “There; it’s covered,” he shouted to me as he closed the door behind him so as not to let the dogs out. Then all went silent.

“Rick, Rick, where are you? What’s happening?” I asked urgently. No response. My heart raced even more quickly. “Rick, where are you?” I asked louder. Several seconds passed before I heard a door close. I knew then he had gone to the garage to get something. As he pounded the doggy bed with all his strength, the snake slivered back into the guest half-bathroom away from him. He then closed the bathroom door after he saw it get into the far corner and wrap itself around our metal trash can. I was finally able to open our door. My poor husband was perspiring! No time to pause though, we had about 15 minutes before the guests would arrive. We did not want our guests to know we had a snake in the house! They probably would not be able to sleep if they did. None of them had ever been in our home.

Our ranch home was built on a very isolated piece of desert at the base of a mountain. There’s no one else out here except the two small families we have living on our 10 acres so they could help with the palm tree harvest and as security. Our nearest neighbor is about two miles away. We do share, however, the area with coyotes, rattlers, garden snakes, hawks, California condors, mountain lions, bobcats, extinc tiny kangaroo rats, weavers (birds), tiny desert songbirds, hummingbirds, toads, bees, okay, and just about every living desert animal and insect. Scorpions I have seen close around the house, but never in the seven years have we had a rattler or any other dangerous animal near or in our house!

I do not think it was coincidental that a rattler happen to find its way into our house through a doggy door (with a flap) on the very day we were to have unconverted guests staying in our home. They were staying over to attend youth activities that were taking place Friday and Saturday. We found out later that some of the youth had never been to church until that weekend. When I saw the type of snake, I knew, without a doubt, this snake was an evil representation to scare us. During the cold months of the year, snakes hibernate and seek warmth. It was not the season for snakes to be out roaming out-and-about.
My husband got his Winchester shotgun and went outside to unlock the restroom door that opened to the backyard. From the inside of the house, I tried to splash water on the snake (from about ten feet away, of course!) and create lots of noise in hopes to scare the snake out the door. Nothing was working and we were now getting desperate. Rick reached in the bathroom with a broom and caused the metal trash can to fall on top of the snake’s head. He then dragged both out the door and down the steps. The snake slivered towards the grass. With the large part of the broom, he pounded at the snake’s head until it did not move. Then I noticed the rattler’s tail jerking a little so I shouted, “Shoot it!” The bang echoed loudly through the night. The head got blasted off. At last I could breath easily again. We looked at each other and almost spontaneously said, “The kids are coming.” Quickly he hid the snake and I cleaned up the mess I had caused in the restroom. Within minutes, the front door opened and in walked not 11 guests, but 15.

After all were safely tucked in their beds, on the sofas and on roll-a-ways, my husband and I returned to bed. In his arms I reflected on the night’s incident. The Lord watched over us this night. What if that snake had entered after everyone had been asleep? What if it had found its way onto the roll-a-way bed in the living room where our adult guest now lay? What if the snake had coiled itself right at the front door to greet our daughter as she opened the door? Any scenario would have been a disaster. Those unconverted friends may have even misinterpreted the scare as being a bad omen, or maybe never even want to do anything with our church ever again. With a smile I closed my eyes and remembered Psalm 50:15, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” His Word is true. The Lord is merciful to them who seek Him!

The following Sunday, Psalm 91 was chosen for the sermon. It was no coincidence.  The verses our Pastor read confirmed my belief that evil had tried to enter our home that day. (He had no idea of what had happened at our home.) Verse 10 reads, “No evil shall befall you nor shall any plague come near your dwelling. (11) For He shall give His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways. (13)…the serpent you shall trample underfoot.” (There were no second thoughts about sparing the rattler’s life that night!)  The Lord proved He had left an angel in charge to protect our home that night. To God the honor and glory, amen!

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