People Do Not Have The Same Nature As Snakes


When I told her that I volunteer in a men's
prison, she shook her head.  She wondered why I was wasting my time with people like that.  She doesn't really believe that people can change.  I asked her why and she told me the story about the snake..

Once upon a time a boy was looking for a birch tree.  He couldn't find one.  He thought he'd climb a tall rock and look around from that height.  Meal times came and went.  He was getting pretty hungry.  As the boy stood on the boulder, a rattle snake slithered across his path.

The looked at the snake and the snake looked at the boy.  The backed away.  But the snake said, "Boy, I'm lost and you look hungry.  How about we help each other.  I'll show you where there's some food and you bring me down.

The boy said, "No.  I know what you are a rattlesnake.  You can kill me."

The rattlesnake said, "If you lead me down, I'll lead you to food.  I promise I will not hurt you."

The boy thought.

So the boy lead the snake down from the big boulder.  The snake showed the boy where there were berries and water.  The boy ate and drank.

The snake began to dance, and the boy did too.  The boy danced and the snake danced, and they had a good time, and then all of a sudden the snake struck out and bit the boy.

The boy screamed "You promised!  You promised not to hurt me."

The snake smiled back and said, "You knew what I was when you picked me up."

My friend was equating prisoners to rattlesnakes.  They can't help but be bad.   It's their nature.

At the time, I wasn't able to respond.  But what I should have said, was that people are not snakes.  People are made in the image of God, and as such means we were made good.

God is infinitely good and all his works are good.  (CCC 385)  It is out of his goodness that God created us in his image and for good.  (Gen 1;27-31)


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