When my son was learning to read in school, he brought home a book entitled Mrs. Wishy-Washy. I remember him delightfully reading the book out loud to me in the living room of our home. Three farm friends, the cow, the pig, and the duck are playing in the mud, “Oh lovely mud” they exclaim, as they jump in and frolic. But then along comes Mrs. Wishy-Washy, it is at this point he can hardly contain his giggles as he spoke Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s words “Just LOOK at you!” His voice took on a rather sing-song tone and the words came out in a delightful cadence: “Wishy washy, wishy washy,” as she washes them clean. Soon however, the three friends are left to themselves as Mrs. Wishy-Washy attends to other business. And what do the cow, the pig, and the duck say? “Oh, lovely mud.” And back into the muddy mess again they go. Mrs. Wishy-Washy has to start all over again. It’s been 25 years since that story was read to me that evening, and I still see his little face – eyes lit up in merriment, broad smile on his lips, and the effort he put into saying “Just LOOK at you! … “wishy washy, wishy washy.”
We can chuckle about these children’s books and the way they invite our kiddos to learn the pleasures of reading. Also though, I noticed that the books that we carefully chose, and my son read, taught other lessons, some obvious, and some profound.
How many times in my life have I looked at the mud, and said “Oh, lovely mud,” as I jumped right in and wallowed around? How many times have I wallowed so much that I am covered in filth? And, how many times have I regretted wallowing in my mud after plunging in – the consequences weighing me down over my impetuous acts? How many times has my Savior come and washed away the mud – wishy washy, wishy washy – until my stains are gone and I am white as snow?
My faithfulness to God is far less than His faithfulness to me. At times my faithful obedience is just like the acts of our barnyard friends – the cow, the pig, and the duck. I know what to do, but then I get distracted by that “Oh, lovely mud.”
I like to think that I’ve learned a lot from my wishy washy times. Over the years, I have found that I am less inclined to want to stray into those murky, muddy waters. Occasionally, I slip up, and when I do, I know that my Savior has the grace not to say in a condemning tone “Just LOOK at you! He just sets about making me clean and whole again. Wishy washy, wishy washy.
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9 (NLT)
“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:18 (NLT)