I grew up in a veritable jungle. There were so many green things that if you weren’t careful, you could get lost in my backyard for days! To a little boy it was like the “Garden of Eden.”
I loved to make mud pies. I would take several old metal pie pans to our backyard near the chicken coop (it offered easy access to a water source to make mud), along with my dad’s machete, and chop down some plants to make my own recipes.
One day in particular, it had rained hard right before I got home, and the ground was gloriously steaming, mushy, and muddy. . . . Oh, happy day!
I had forgotten that my mother had informed me earlier that we had some friends visiting and she didn’t want me making mud pies. Well, as you can already imagine, I remembered her instructions . . . the moment she called me into the house.
Feelings of dread and fear washed over me like sugar glaze on a hot Krispy Kreme doughnut! What would I do? Where could I run and hide? I quickly thought about washing myself off with the water hose, but that would have made an even bigger mess. I had no choice but to come when called and take my mother’s full wrathful judgment and my rightful punishment.
Began to Sob Softly
As I shuffled slowly up to the back door—dripping from head to toe with the musky-earthy combination of mud and sweat; caked with bits of foliage and smelling like a billy-goat—I looked directly at my horrified and rightfully angry mother and meekly, but politely, said to our guests, “Hello, thank you for coming today. I’m so glad you came to visit.” Then I just stood there and, as little boys who are in trouble and know what they’ve got coming to them often do, I began to sob softly.
For what seemed like hours there was no movement or sounds emanating from my mother or our guests. Then my mother silently got down on her knees, lifted my grungy, dirty face, looked me in the eyes, kissed my disgustingly dirty forehead, wrapped her arms around me, picked me up, took me inside, peeled my clothes off (and probably burned them), and, shortly thereafter, re-presented me to our guests: clean, combed, well-dressed, and smelling much better.
Looking back on that incident, I can think of no better example of what God has done for you and me. “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).
Today, take some time to thank God for loving us enough to die for us, and in effect, get our mud on Him, clean us up from the filth of our own sinful rebellion, and dress us in His perfectly spotless robe of righteousness.