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Some of my stories are published in:
A Cup of Comfort Devotional for Mothers and Daughters (Adams Media, 2009)
Chicken Soup: What I Learned from the Dog (2009)
Love is a Flame (Bethany House, 2010)
Extraordinary answers to Prayer (Guideposts, 2010)
Love is a Verb (Bethany House, 2011)
Big Dreams from Small Spaces (Group Publishing, 2012)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

He Will Not Slumber

One fine and sunny April day a couple of years ago, my daughter and I took a hike into the Boulder hills. It was such a simple hike along the ridge of hills overlooking Hwy 36 that we didn't even bother to take a cell phone.
We had our dogs, Dudley and Sprite, and they strained at their leashes, eager to explore each new scent along the trail.
The trail rose steadily for about a mile, then turned north and gentled into a horsey-manure-soft path.
The only thing we feared running into was a mountain lion. So we kept alert, scanning the upper hillsides and the trees we walked under.
We passed a rocky bluff, half knocked down by wind and soil erosion. Then we heard it: the unmistakable rattle.
The snake perched on a rocky ledge about six feet off the trail, coiled into a tense, quivering ball.
Startled, but not frightened, we hurried past. I made a mental note of the spot so when we returned we could be extra vigilant.
We enjoyed the rest of our northward hike to the turn-around point.
Three miles back to the trailhead.
As we approached the bluff where we'd seen the rattlesnake I kept my eyes peeled on the rocks
above the trail. I held on to Sprite's leash with one hand and shaded my eyes with the other hand to see through the glare cast by the afternoon sun.
Phew! No snake.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something incredibly fast strike at Kiri's leg.
No warning rattle. No hiss. Just shoot to kill.
The snake missed Kiri's leg by a mere inch. Then it coiled into another shuddering, rattling ball right in the middle of the trail.
After several minutes, hoping the snake would slither off, we finally gave up and climbed over the jumbled rocks above the trail.
Once past, we hurried to reach the trail head, both thanking God that he'd kept Kiri safe and berating ourselves for being stupid enough not to bring a cell phone along.
I shuddered each time I thought what would have happened if my daughter had been bitten. I'd have had to run the two miles to the trail head and call 911, hoping that my daughter stayed calm and still and that the paramedics would reach her quickly.
No warning. Death struck at Kiri's heel without warning.
But we'd been alert, actively looking for the threat. Even that wasn't good enough.
I don't know how Kiri missed being bitten. Perhaps an angel placed his big hand between Kiri's leg and the snakes fangs.
God is an amazingly vigilant Father. Quick to see, quick to save.
Quicker even than the lightning strike of a rattlesnake.

". . . He who watches over you will not slumber. . . " (Psalm 121:3)


  1. Great story!
    This applies so well spiritually, too.

    My parents always told me the snakes were more afraid of me than I was of them. I guess they're wrong!

  2. Thanks for posting this Dena. I believe an angel did deter the bite.

  3. Thanks, Kay and Terri. It's a mystery why God steps in sometimes and doesn't at other times. Someday we'll know!