Mud

15 04 2015

I used to hear it all the time while growing up. “Do that again and your name will be mud.” I didn’t really understand all the implications, but the words were enough to alert me that I was on the edge of trouble. Even as a little girl, I didn’t want to be called Mud, so I returned to the straight and narrow where I could keep my own name. It wasn’t until I developed an interest in history and spent one summer pouring myself into doing research about Abraham Lincoln that the true significance of those words became clear.

One hundred and fifty years ago today, President Abraham Lincoln died from an assassin’s bullet. John Wilkes Booth, in anger over the defeat of the South in the Civil War, determined to kill President Lincoln. He shot him at Ford’s Theater, jumping onto the stage in the middle of a play, and escaping through the stage door. As the evening gave way to the early morning hours, President Lincoln died of his wounds and the nation mourned the loss a great leader.

It was also in those early morning hours of April 15, 1865, that another drama was playing out in the Maryland home of a country doctor named Samuel A. Mudd. John Wilkes Booth had broken his leg in his escape and needed medical attention. He banged on the door of Dr. Mudd, who set his leg, gave him food, and a place to rest. On April 26, Dr. Mudd was arrested and later found guilty of conspiracy in the assassination of President Lincoln. He was sentenced to life in prison, even though there were serious questions surrounding his knowledge and participation in Booth’s plot. He was later pardoned by President Andrew Johnson, and released in 1869. In the four years since his arrest, the phrase, “Your name will be Mudd” took on a deeper, darker significance. Nobody wanted to be associated with the name Mudd.

Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”

My Jesus Resolution today is to be aware of the power of a good name. In the end, my name and reputation are all that will be remembered. God wants me to invest myself in being a person of integrity. He knows that every choice reflects on the heart that He is shaping within me and speaks to not only my own name, but the name I wear because of His Son. I still don’t want my name to be Mud, but the name Christian has a special beauty that I want to cherish.


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One response

15 04 2015
Martha Dove

Thank you, Cassandra. That is very interesting. Did not know there was a man called Mud. I love Proverbs 22:1

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