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The Snake Charmer

People who know me know that i am not generally given to using foul language. Although i do admit to walking down the street with my friends singing every swear word we could string together, i can also tell you that i was immediately and miraculously delivered from swearing.


It’s incredible what a well-timed backhand, a bar of soap and the blood of Jesus can do to clean up a foul mouth.


The grace of God has cleaned up my thoughts and therefore my words, but THIS foolishness tested my resolve to, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of [my] mouth….” Ephesians 4:29.

i was minding my business, walking through the streets of India near

the Jaipur observatory in Rajasthan.  That's where i spotted

the snake man. Honestly, i have nothing against the snake man tryna'

hustle and make some money. That’s what he does. But this woman, what would possess her to? 1. Stop in her tracks 2. Detour from where she was

going 3. Sit down 4. Engage a man with a snake and 5. Touch the cobra. What on earth was she thinking?!

i am not a lover of snakes, but i had to double back and take a picture (from a distance of course). She didn’t know the man, cobras are highly venomous and dangerous snakes. Why would she sit with a stranger and his cobra?

Completely unable to figure it out, i asked some people in my group and much to my surprise, many of them were game to play with the snake. Here is what they said:

  • The sense of adventure

  • Why not?

  • It’s fun

  • Defying the odds

  • Doing something others wouldn’t do

  • NOT experiencing the natural consequences of touching a venomous snake

One person even said it was “educational” (whatever!)

As my son says, "sounds sketchy to me."

A clean-cut, well-dressed man offers the opportunity of a lifetime. i mean, you only live once. When will you have the opportunity again to pet a cobra?

And so, like the lady in the photograph we:





Engage and finally touch the sin, the cigarette, the alcohol, the drugs, the married woman, the “bad boy,” the forbidden fruit. It’s all good…until it isn’t.

That’s the way of sin. You stop, you listen to the voice that says, “It will be okay. "You shall not surely die. Genesis 3:4.” You detour from your original destination, sit down, engage and then you touch. Ahhhhh, the adventure, the exhilaration, the coolness of it all. And look ma…..nothing happened. This time.

Before you know it, you are bitten. Addicted to drugs, pornography, cigarettes. Stuck in an abusive relationship, caught in the vortex of an eating disorder or consumed by guilt resulting in a roller coaster Christian experience.

Forget the literal snake for a minute. Comparatively speaking, that’s not what you need to worry about. As you can see in the photo below, Jordan and Vivian have nothing to worry about (although, I'm not sure Jordan is fully convinced). By the way, this is what happens when your kids spend a day with Aunt Viv the science teacher. How she managed to find a a "science place" with a willing snake in Kenya, I still don't know....but i digress


It’s the figurative snake, that serpent called the Devil and Satan, that you really have to watch out for.

Don’t fall for the lie. Don’t stop, listen or detour. Please don’t sit down and engage. Keep walking. Stay with your group. Keep moving toward your destination.

If you MUST engage a snake, go for the literal one because the other one, the Devil, is playing for keeps. Your life is on the line.

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L. David Harris
L. David Harris

So ... if I am foolish enough to "think" I can charm a serpent, and end up being charmed, it will bite and kill me? Noted.


Carol Eichner
Carol Eichner

Excellent visual of satan. I think the "adventures" he leads us on definitely detour our walk with Christ. I have never been on a detour that has made me happy.


Awesome. Thanks for sharing. Loved it and joined the site. Will share with others and look forward to more. Hi and hope to meet with you in Feb in India.

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