The day began innocuously enough.

Julie, Tabs, Elijah and I had been spending a couple of days with my sister’s family in Atokah, TN (a suburb of Memphis). Julie and I drove to the resplendant and revered home of the late, great, King–Elvis.

Graceland is worth the visit. Not because it is an overwhelming display of wealth, but because it is an amazing commentary on the life of a man who was incredibly gifted by God. Elvis purchased Graceland at the age of 22 (imagine his success) and died at Graceland at the age of 42. Sad. Very, very sad.

Julie and I returned to Gina and Erik’s and spent a restful afternoon culminating with a delicious BBQ chicken feast my sister and brother-in-law put together. After dinner I went outside to enjoy a cigar and a good book. Awhile later I prepared to go inside. On the stoop of the door leading into their house was a snake–a small snake–one that I had not seen before. I called to Erik: “Erik come out here!” Erik and I looked at the snake . . . it was not one that he recognized either (though he did point out to me that it had a pointed head and was probably poisonous.)

What to do?

Erik got a shovel. “Let’s cut its head off and be done with it,” he said. “No,” I replied, “Just get me a leather work glove. I’ll pick it up and throw it into the woods.”

The damned thing bit me! Right through the leather glove!

At first it felt like a bee sting. And then it felt like I had stuck my hand into a hive. When my hand began to swell, my sister, Gina, called 911.

I’m not exagerating . . . one ambulance and two firetrucks later, 10 emergency workers were telling me to “sit down and keep my arm above my heart.”

Turns out the snake I was trying to rescue (now headless–thanks to Erik and his shovel) was a Copperhead. And though their venom is rarely fatal to a healthy adult, it is serious and causes EXTREME pain.

They rushed me to the hospital where (much to my dismay) they admitted me for the night. My arm (up to my shoulder) had swollen to twice its normal size. I wish I was making this up! It seems they were concerned about me going into cardiac arrest or the venom reaching my throat.

After a day in the hospital they released me. I felt like a fool. Did I mention that snakes can bite through leather gloves–even leather boots!?!

Anyhow, I’m fine. Except for the dull “tooth-achey” pain in my left arm as the swelling continues to subside.

Sooo, there are so many analogies. Sin can cause a lot of pain . . . but because of Jesus’ death has been defeated. Or, it only takes one little prick to start a whole lot of trouble. How about, “Just get me a glove”–kind of a guy thing.

Anyway, the adventure continues and I live to tell another story of adventure . . .

And by the way, in the future when I encounter a snake . . . he better hope that Jesus saves ’cause Greg will be showing no mercy.