NE of my favorite comedies is the movie What about Bob (1991) starring Bill Murray and Richard Dreyfuss. Bill Murray plays Bob Wiley, an obsessive-compulsive-neurotic mess. He meets up with the pompous psychotherapist, Dr. Leo Marvin (Dreyfuss), and for the first time in his life, thinks he’s found someone who can really help him. The problem is, right after their very first session, Dr. Marvin leaves town for a month-long vacation with his family. Bob becomes so desperate for help, he tracks Dr. Marvin down at their vacation home and the fun begins.
Bob is fully aware he is a neurotic mess. He readily admits, “I have problems.” He’s in constant fear, for example, that his bladder might explode. Dr. Marvin, on the other hand, scoffs at the very notion he has any problems. Oblivious to his own self-absorbed life and family relationship issues, Dr. Marvin’s perfect world is turned upside down by the “human-crazy-glue,” Bob Wiley.
As you have no doubt already surmised, by the end of the movie, Bob and Leo have traded places. Dr. Marvin has become a complete neurotic mess while Bob has been freed from all his phobias.
I had barely watched this silly movie once again when I received a rough copy of our third children’s book, titled Muddy Boy. It’s the true story of a little boy living with his mom in a shanty town built on stilts over a polluted river in Ecuador. Diego the little boy, seems to understand he’s got “problems” as people in town cover their noses when he comes around but, despite his plight, he’s a happy little guy.
NE day, Diego encounters a LOGOI missionary who is speaking at the little church nearby. He and his mom go to the church service and Diego wiggles his way up front to sit next to the missionary who is wearing the whitest shirt he has ever seen. As a little boy is apt to do, he can’t help but reach up and touch that beautiful white shirt…with his very muddy fingers. To his horror, he leaves a terrible dirty smudge.
But then, to Diego’s great surprise, the missionary isn’t upset. In fact, the missionary doesn’t seem to mind at all. Instead of shooing him away, the missionary pulls him close. So close, that the nice white shirt soon becomes a dirty mess… just like Diego. The analogy becomes clear as the missionary tenderly explains the Gospel to the little boy.
Dirt and mud, phobias and neurotic behavior, sin and guilt… none of these nor anything else can separate us from our Father’s love. The Gospel has always been and will always be for those of us who are muddy and dirty and don’t measure up.
That is why we boldly ask for your prayers and financial partnership. Together, God is using us to be a part of seeing the Gospel penetrate through all the dirt and mud. Our part is to help train, equip, and encourage thousands of national missionaries now spread across 32 countries. Just consider all the “muddy little boys and girls” and even all the “Bob Wileys” and “Dr. Leo Marvins” they encounter armed with the power of the Gospel. It’s very exciting!
As a reminder, it costs LOGOI roughly $5 per month to provide free Bible training and resources to one national missionary. God has given us some 14,000 national missionaries to help—right now, today. Thank you for helping provide the Bible resources they need and use every day.
What a joy to be your partner in helping proclaim the Gospel. And what a joy to know one day, we’ll even get to meet this “muddy boy” whom I suspect will be wearing a much whiter, brighter, glorious shirt than any of us could ever imagine.