For weeks, the phrase “Here’s to mud in your eye,” kept flooding my mind. Weird, huh? Because it wouldn’t stop rolling up against my cranium, I finally stopped and looked up the meaning.
I had recalled correctly that it was an old toast. Years ago, men gathered in pubs or local watering holes, saddled up to the bar on high stools, and lifted glasses of wine, beer, or spirits and proclaimed, “Here’s to mud in your eye.”
It is a strange toast, and in my book, doesn’t hold a candle to the Jewish, l‘chaim… “to life,” or the Russian, nazdarovia… “to your health.” I even like the English, “Cheers,” better than “mud in the eye.”
Mud is nasty. I fell and slid in the mud as a first grader and became especially adverse to sticky, wet dirt. To this day, I avoid it like a patch of stickers. I hate to scrape the gooy, icky stuff off my shoes. The idea of mud in my the eye? Well, I wouldn’t call that a blessing.
The Internet is replete with meanings, so it wasn’t hard to find and verify the root. I was especially blessed by a sermon with the same title that was written almost a decade ago by a Presbyterian minister during the season of Lent. You will enjoy reading it as I did. Find the link at the bottom.
There are several theories about the phrase — all of them excellent. Some think it was developed by farmers, who would gather together for a drink after a long, hard day of plowing. They would lift a pint of beer and clang their mugs together with “Here’s to mud in your eye,” referring to the mud that a plow and horse unearth and fling while clearing and digging the land. Plowing season means fruitfulness, so they were saying, “May you be fruitful.” Very plausible… graphic yet pleasing.
The next thought was that at the horse or dog races the rookies and those that made bets would cheer each other on before the race, knowing that the animal competitors would fling up wet dirt from a muddy track as they ran the race to win. I love that! “May you win the race to win!”
But… even better… and this one had a lot verification, like pages and pages of Internet entries… It is an ancient toast, referring to John 9 when Jesus coughed up saliva into the dirt, made a mud pie and slathered it in a blind man’s eyes. Then he told him to wash in the pool Siloam, from the the Hebrew word, “sent.”
Like the blind man, I am looking at my own life and see that I need a miraculous touch. I am wondering why God has allowed certain weaknesses, setbacks, illnesses, or woundings. They are slowing me down!
I am asking like those around the blind man, “Who sinned, this man or his parents.” In essence, “Why Lord, who should I blame — me or others — for my trials?”
All the while, Jesus is spitting and concocting a compact of mud. He answers, “No one sinned. This happened for the glory of God.”
I receive that personally. Yes. For God’s glory.
Still part of the remedy is spit and mud and washing. The blind man had to walk for the last time with blind eyes to the pool. He had to exercise blind faith to go… He had to ask for assistance to get there and to dip in the water and wash. Making his way home and discounting the event may have been easier. Just blowing it off…
He yielded to the base remedy and went away seeing…
As I write, I am yielding myself to a God that I can trust; and I am wondering what is the mud and spit and cleansing that I must follow to be whole.
What will God require of me?
And I am lifting a glass to you right now, “Here’s to mud in your eye.” My best thought of you is full of mud and spit.
Receive a miracle from the hand of God today! It will come through unusual circumstances.