Mud. No other word draws all five senses together in such a short moment. See it ooze between tiny toes. Hear it squish as bare feet smush into it. Feel it cool and grainy, wet and slippery. Smell its fresh-after-the-rain fragrance. And taste? Why, mud pies, of course, fed to unsuspecting kid brothers and ever-loyal canine companions.
To me, mud tastes like a tomato sandwich, slathered with butter and coated with sugar. The problem began with the fact that this delicious concoction never filled my stomach without a second helping.
One sunny afternoon, as most teens are wont to do, I lazed in my backyard while eating my first tomato sandwich of the season. The fresh tomato juices mixed with the creamy butter and slid down my throat. The grass, sparkling in the sun, needed mowed with all the rain we’d had recently. Dad would get to it over the weekend, but for now, it soaked through my canvas sneakers as I pushed the swing to and fro.
Suddenly, the desire for another sandwich, the tomato juicy and the sugar thick enough to chew, beckoned, and with a holler to my mom to please start making one, I ran for the house. In my eagerness, I forgot about the constant mud by the door. My wet sneakers didn’t allow me to slow down, and I slid the last several feet, trying frantically to stop. I did stop, after I crashed through the plate glass storm door into the kitchen. I lay there, sprawled on the kitchen floor, while glass cascaded around and over me. I picked myself up, dazed but miraculously unharmed except a few knicks on my arms.
Mud. What scenes does it pull from memories long-buried? Maybe a free-for-all mud fight in a neighborhood park. Could be a tire stuck in six inches, getting deeper with each rev of the engine. Or how about rain splashing in a blessed puddle after a long drought. See it, hear it, feel it, smell it, and if you dare, taste it.
When our senses tingle from an experience, we feel alive. We have a concrete relationship with the event. Maybe this thought caused Jesus to choose to use mud when He healed the blind man, even though He needed nothing to create this miracle. Mud – I can feel it; can you?
Share your “muddy” story with us in the comments below.