by: Rich Vaughan
We had just moved to a new appointment. I would be serving my second church. I was only 31 and at this time we only had 2 or our eventual 4 boys. Richie was 4 and Robbie was 1 ½. Debbie had gone to a meeting and so I was in charge of Richie and Robbie (Big mistake #1 – I’m still a young Dad figuring out how to handle these mini –me’s!). Since my office still needed to be unpacked, I decided to take the boys with me to church so I could unpack my office while I “babysat” (2nd big mistake). I went to my office, left my door open, put the boys in the nursery to play and told them to “be good” (Big mistake #3). I mean, how much trouble can a 4 & a 1 ½ year old get into anyway? Eventually I saw them walk past my door but they were QUIET (big mistake #4) and seemed fine and the hallway was not real long and ended up in the choir room at the end of the hall, so how much trouble could they really get in? A little later they returned and I didn’t think too much about it until I realized they were being TOO QUIET (this is probably the first time I realized that if children are quiet that is not a good thing!). I yelled for the boys to “come here” and my two little angels appeared in the door. So far, so good…until I looked at them. There was magic marker paint all over their faces and arms and they were now sucking on the magic markers like they were a lollipop. OH, BUT IT GETS EVEN BETTER! I step out into the hallway and behold 2 black magic marker lines going all the way down both walls to the choir room – except right in front of my door where they had stopped drawing until they got to the other side! As I followed the lines, I discovered that my little angles had also gone into the choir room and had decorated every metal folding chair! Needless to say, I was not a happy Daddy. I had not even preached my first sermon in this church! I tried everything to clean the walls and chairs and nothing worked. Finally, I called a young woman in the church (who is still a dear friend of Debbie’s and mine) that we had met as we were moving in. Her name is Melba Rosser and Melba suggested 409 cleaner. It worked (A miracle)!
As for Richie & Robbie, after explaining to them that there was a mistranslation of the ancient Hebrew text in Genesis and it seems as though Abraham actually did sacrifice Isaac! I took them home, scrubbed them until they were clean and let them know how unhappy I was. I must have made a point because a 4-year-old and a 1 ½ year old sat on a couch for several hours watching the baseball All Star game and did not move, use the restroom, did not ask for anything to drink or eat, and finally went quietly to bed!
This family story leads me to the point of this devotional. God’s greatest miracle: Jesus. In Jesus, God has given us a miracle cleanser. The One who through his birth, sacrifice, and resurrection brought grace, mercy, and forgiveness to cleanse the darkest stains on our soul and wash us “whiter than snow”. It is Jesus who washes away our sins, heals our transgressions, and forgives our sins. Perhaps the most amazing part of all of this is that you don’t have to “buy” this miracle cleaner, as you would a 409 bottle. Jesus is free to every one of us who opens our heart and lets the “son” shine in. So, got some tough dirt on your soul or in your life? I know a great cleaner who works miracles! Amen? Amen!