Storytelling series B2: Modern yarns that convey Bible truths

  1. A much loved old pot

Every morning an old man set out from a poor village in India with two big empty clay pots – one on each shoulder – and walked to the well one kilometer away. He would return much more slowly, burdened down with the same two pots now full of water.

Each day he would say to his wife, ‘I’m cracking up. I’m too old for this – and my arthritis is painful.’

His wife would reply, ‘I’m useless. I can’t help, because I’m so weak. Someone has to do this. Our son Rajie has to work all day in the paddy fields. Manya his wife has to take the children to school, and I’m cracking up!’

Rajie complained: ‘I must sharpen my tools for tomorrow. Manya had to haul the laundry to the river. The children had no pencils or notebooks to write answers for their homework, So they will just have to memorise their answers.’

The whole family felt all cracked up and not of any use.

On the way to the well the old man’s shoulders were equally balanced, because each pot weighed the same. However, on his walk back to his house, the old pot on his left shoulder was so old and cracked that, by the time he got home, he had to push his right shoulder up higher and higher to hold the heavy, full new pot steady to keep his balance against the leaking, half-empty old jar on his left shoulder.

This went on all through the months of the dry season.

One evening the old man imagined the leaking pot whispered in his ear as he dragged his weary feet homeward from the well. ‘Why don’t you leave me in the yard back at home? I’m so old and useless. I am cracked, so I leak..In fact, you ought to put some soil in me to grow tomato plants – or even break me up to fill some of the holes in the road.’

‘No way,’ the old man muttered back. You are a dear old friend. You are mine – and you are very precious to me. It’s true, you do leak a lot. But, just look at that line of lovely flowers all along that side of the road from the well to the village. They would wilt and wither in the hot sun just like they did on the opposite side of the road. You refresh them twice each day. You may be old, but you are certainly not useless or unloved.’

So, he put his shoulders straight, he quickened his step and hummed a happy tune all the way home towards the setting sun.

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