A certain farming practice of 40-50 years ago provides the backdrop for this particular story. During the summer months, green corn was chopped and blown into cement silos to be used as winter food for the cattle. At certain intervals a malt or dextrose based substance was added to the chopped corn. The combination of sugars, moisture from the corn and summer heat created a wonderful substance (to the cows anyway) called silage. This process of turning the corn into proper silage often resulted in a good deal of liquid that would seep out of the silo at ground level and seep into the surrounding ground, creating a very smelly quagmire. Small children were warned to “STAY AWAY!!!” for obvious reasons. And it is here that our story begins.
The little girl was very intent on finding the batch of kittens the mother cat had hidden in the barn. Daddy said their eyes were open and the little girl couldn’t wait to gather the little balls of fur into her arms and watch the antics of the kittens as they stalked imaginary mice. So intent on her mission was she, that she accidentally stepped into the silage quagmire. And stepped again. Within minutes she was stuck fast in the mud, unable to pull her foot and shoes free.
“Mommy!! Mommy!” After what seemed an eternity with no response, the little girl called again. She tried to pull her feet free with little success. Tears began to flow down her cheeks as she again called “Mommy!” Suddenly big hands lifter her up and out of the mud and the rather gruff voice of her grandfather said, “Looks like you got yourself into a bit of a mess. Mommy isn’t going to like this.’ Despite the smelly, messy mud dripping from the her feet, the grandfather hugged her close, pulled out his red bandana handkerchief, wiped her nose and tears, and said “Let’s get you cleaned up before we go and find Mommy.” With that he reached his bare hands into the mud and pulled out the shoe that had remained stuck in the muck.
At the well, the grandfather again used his handkerchief to wash the smelly mud from her feet and legs and rinsed the shoes as best he could. Although a large and normally gruff man, his actions were kind and gentle and the little girl’s sobs soon subsided. No words passed between them, but when the mud has been washed away in the clear, cool water, the grandfather took her small hand in his big round one and together they walked to the house in search of Mommy and clean socks.
We, like the little girl, often walk into the quagmire of sin, and find ourselves unable to get out of the mess in which we find ourselves. Oh, we may struggle and fight and even appear to be making progress, but alas, it is all in vain. We cannot get free on our own. But when we call out to our heavenly Father, the freedom that we seek is there. Given to us willingly and freely through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting live.” John 3:16
“…I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6