In the fall, a friend took me down the Yakima River in his boat. He had been a fishing guide for many years and knew the river like the back of his hand.
I took my camera along. Before we set out upon the water, I had the opportunity to take some macro photographs of a bumblebee on the riverbank. I was told that it was rare and unique. This insect could only be found in a small region of the world that included the Yakima River.
At that time a farmer stopped by and introduced himself. He asked me what I was doing with the camera and so I showed him my gear and explained things. He told me to be careful because there were rattlesnakes in the area.
Upon my return home, I told Jeanne all about the trip, including the comment about possible vipers.
Fast forward to Christmas – under the tree was a gift box that was larger than most. It was for me — a present from my wife. When I took off the wrappings there was a pair of rattlesnake boots. I was so impressed. Jeanne had remembered.
Quite honestly I wondered how much I would use the boots. Most of my photography is conveniently done in our backyard gardens, or across the street, at McCosh Park.
However, now that I have rattlesnake boots, things could change. This gift will give me greater motivation to go far afield with greater frequency. In fact, when summer finally arrives, I think I will visit the banks of the Yakima River a few times. I would like to get better photographs of that rare bumblebee.
I thought I knew exactly how my new boots would be used. However, then the snow got deep. This was followed by freezing rain.
I looked at the boots and smiled. I believed my new rattlesnake boots would occasionally be dusted off and used. Instead, I have been wearing them daily, and they are being utilized for something I had not at all anticipated.
You have been given particular gifts.
I pray that God may pleasantly surprise you and bring a smile to your face. To bless you — that they may be used with greater frequency, and in ways that you could not have possibly imagined.
Walter is pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church and has served as parish pastor for more than 25 years.