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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

The Mud People

April 15th, 2004

Once upon a time in a place not so far away lived the Mud People. They lived under a big blue sky like you and me. They worked and ate and drank and slept and lived their lives in ordinary ways.

At the top of the High Hill, with a view of the entire valley below lived the High Mudders. Of all the mud in the land, theirs was the best. It had no rocks or debris. It didn’t smell bad. It was smooth and felt good to the touch. It was a mud made from the best topsoil and snowmelt water from the Peaks. The High Mudders were good people. They worked hard, went to church and cared about each other. They looked often toward the Peaks and wondered what it would be like to live beyond. They also looked down, glad they weren’t living below.

A bit farther down lived the Side Hill Mudders. They didn’t have the view that the High Mudders enjoyed, nor was their mud the best. Their mud was bad. It was lumpy, made from clay and water that wasn’t very clear. Their mud smelled like mud and it had rocks and sticks and debris mixed in. The Side Hill Mudders were good people. They worked hard, went to church and cared about each other. The Side Hill Mudders looked often toward the Peaks and wondered what it would be like to live where the High Mudders dwelled. They also looked down, glad they weren’t living below.

At the bottom of the valley in the Swampy Place lived the Muck and Mire Mudders. They didn’t have a view at all. Their mud was the worst. It was ugly. It was gloppy, green and slimy and smelled bad because it was made with stagnant water. The Muck and Mire Mudders were good people. They worked hard, went to church and cared about each other. The Muck and Mire Mudders looked often toward the Peaks and wondered what it would be like to live anywhere but the Swampy Place.

The Mud People lived each day in their mud. The High Mudders lived in their good mud. The Side Hill Mudders lived in their bad mud. And the Muck and Mire Mudders lived in their ugly mud. Thus the Mud People lived in their mud.

One day the High Mudders looked up to see someone coming down from beyond the Peaks. The place He came from wasn’t muddy. His clothes were white and clean. He waded into the good mud of the High Mudders and announced, “I am the Messenger. I bring good news from the Crystal Palace beyond the Peaks. You are all invited to the grand feast. Come as you are.” The High Mudders were thrilled. They had heard of the Crystal Palace and dreamed often of life beyond the Peaks. The Messenger waded out of the High Mudders’ good mud and left them to anticipate the grand feast.

The Crystal Palace was more magnificent than they had imagined. The Messenger greeted them at the door. “Welcome! Enter in to your joy and join in the celebration!” The High Mudders took their places at the tables. Yet the banquet hall wasn’t full. There were empty chairs. Lots of them. Who else could possibly be invited to the grand feast?

The doors swung wide and in came the Side Hill Mudders. The High Mudders didn’t recognize them at first as they had only seen them from a far distance. But the dried lumps of clay that crumbled from their clothes and fell to the pristine white marble floor confirmed who they were. What were they doing here? Had not the Messenger came to the High Mudders to invite them to the feast? The High Mudders wondered about this as the Side Hill Mudders found their seats, some of which were right next to theirs.

The doors swung wide again. It was the Messenger, pointing and directing the Muck and Mire Mudders to their seats. The High Mudders had never seen the Muck and Mire Mudders for the High Hill was far removed from the Swampy Place. Yet they could tell the Muck and Mire Mudders by the smell. Their shoes squeaked on the white floor leaving a trail of green slime and gloppy mud. The Muck and Mire Mudders found their seats next to the Side Hill Mudders and High Mudders.

Everyone was seated. The Messenger stood at the head table and said, “Thank you for accepting my invitation. It is my joy to welcome you to the grand feast. You are each one my honored guest. Eat, drink, and enjoy the banquet set before you.”

Delicious food and vintage wine were brought to every table. Joyous music filled the air. The feast had begun. The Messenger made His way from table to table. He warmly greeted each Mud person with a hug and a kind welcome.

The High Mudders wondered about this. Talking among themselves they decided to pull the Messenger aside. “You waded into our good mud and invited us to the grand feast. But we’re wondering why the Side Hill Mudders and the Muck and Mire Mudders are sitting at our tables.”

“Because I waded into their mud and invited them, too.”, answered the Messenger.

“But, their mud…it’s so bad and ugly.”

Sunshine of the purest light streamed through the windows and fell on the muddy footprints now covering the white marble tile. The Messenger answered, “When the feast is over, I will mop the floor. And when I do, be it good, bad, or ugly…mud is mud.”

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:4-7