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The snake in the pew
It was the Sunday before Christmas, and the congregation had just started coming into our church, which is tucked back on a wooded lot. One of the members reached over to pick up a striped cord she saw lying on the pew … and it moved! A small garter snake, probably seeking warmth, had found its way inside. With some care and not a little amusement an usher deftly scooped up the little fellow in a large copy of the Christian Science Quarterly and deposited him outside in the dry leaves.
It was easy for all of us to immediately realize that here was something that didn’t belong in our church. The interloper was removed quickly and easily with no fuss, no fear, no delay, and no harm done. Afterward I was struck with gratitude for the members of our branch Church of Christ, Scientist, who are alert to what doesn’t belong in our church. Sometimes it’s obvious, like the snake in the pew. But sometimes it’s not a thing but a thought or attitude that has no place.