THE CASE OF THE STOLEN WELLS
“The time to be happy is now, the place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others happy and to build a little heaven down here. La, la….” Humming in a melodious tone Ruth entered the kitchen. Her mother was preparing delicious dishes for dinner. “Ma, Rebecca and I would like to visit grandma’s house?” in a whispering tone she said aware of the fact that her mother disliked being disturbed while at work. “What are you talking? She shouted pushing the chopped onions from the saucer to the frying pan. “Ma, please. It is boring here with no one around” she pleaded again. “Let’s decide about it tomorrow. Now go and gather grapes along with Rebecca” sternly came the reply. Picking a bamboo basket from the storeroom corner, with a heavy heart Ruth went in search of Rebecca.
Ruth, the youngest was smart but Rebecca the eldest was meek and responsible. Both of them were born and brought up in the native town of Jesus Christ, Nazareth. Being girls, they were taught at home as how to be good housekeepers by their mother, Rachel. In another two hours, both of them had gathered two bamboo baskets full of ripe grapes from the vineyard. Rebecca also filled the stone pitchers outside with water. Bread, wheat pancakes, salted corn flakes, minced lamb chops and grape juice were served. Ruth kept thinking of an idea to somehow convince her mother and pay a visit to her grandmother.
Grandmother Gracelin was a cheerful, smart rich old lady living in Capernaum who also owned a house near the seashore of Galilee. She used to take Ruth and Rebecca for boating in the Sea of Galilee, often she bought big fresh fish, fried them for lunch and gave honey baked wheat cakes. Ruth loved grandma for her thrilling stories, beautiful garden and above all for the lily pond in the center of her house. At last, after one week, Ruth and Rebecca arrived safely at grandma’s house early in the morning after a comfortable night’s journey. Their grandmother embraced and kissed them.
Depositing their travel bags in a safe place both of them ran to the courtyard. Having been frightened by their joyful noises, the doves that were feeding peacefully on the spilt grains fluttering their wings flew to the fig tree branches nearby. The lily pond was filled with Easter lilies, trumpet lilies, thunder lilies and many varieties of fragrant flowers. A fountain in the center of the pond added more beauty to the scene around. Rebecca ran around the garden and Ruth tried to catch her. Suddenly, Ruth tripped on a stone tablet that gave way and she fell into a tunnel. Rebecca who came in search of her also came to the same place and entered the tunnel, hoping to hide there. As soon as Rebecca steeped into the tunnel, the stone tablet returned to its normal position even before Rebecca shouted, ‘grandma’.
An angel said, “Do not be frightened. Come along with me and I will show and tell you about the case of the stolen wells” Both of them were astonished. The angel asked them to step on to an invisible vehicle, which traveled swiftly like an arrow piercing through the scattered cotton like clouds. Rebecca and Ruth viewed the wonderful creation and magnified the Lord. Sometimes they thought, “May be grandma is searching for us.” The next moment this thought disappeared for they were more interest in their adventure. The angel showed them a well and began to speak, “Dear Ruth and Rebecca, do you know where you are standing now?” The shook their heads from left to right as if to say ‘No’.
This is the place where father Isaac, dug again the wells of water which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham. He called them by the names which his father had called them.” Rebecca, told the angel, “I am surprised to note that in those days even wells have had names.” Then the angel took them again in the invisible vehicle to the land of Gerar where there was a well. “This is the place where father Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water. But the heardsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the name of the well Esek, because they quarreled with him.” Ruth said, “The herdsmen of Gerar must have been very bad people isn’t it?” They have stolen the well of father Isaac. Poor father Isaac he would have worked very hard to dig a well is it not?” Rebecca said, “The herdsmen of Gerar would been have probably like my sister Ruth” Fortunately, Ruth did not hear what Rebecca had commented. The angel patted both, led them a little further and showed them another stolen well. “This is the place where they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So Isaac called its name Sitnah”
Rebecca said, “So the enemies had stolen two wells, one named Esek and another named Sitnah. Then, from where did father Isaac get water to feed his flocks, for other purposes like drinking and washing?” The angel took both of them a little further and showed them another well and said, “This is the place where they dug another well, and this time they did not quarrel over it. So Isaac called its name Rehoboth, because he said, ‘For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.’ The Lord appeared to Isaac the same night and said, ‘I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for My servant Abraham’s sake.’ So Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the Lord, and he pitched his tent there; and there Isaac’s servants dug a well.”
The angel said, “Father Isaac did not fight with other people. He always wanted to be at peace with other and therefore the Lord blessed him. Sometimes, people may pick up a quarrel with you for no reason at all. At that time, remember the case of the stolen wells and hold on to peace. Only then God will bless you abundantly. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”
Once again they got into the invisible vehicle and reached the tunnel. The stone tablet was opened by the angel. Ruth and Rebecca entered the lily pond biding goodbye to their invisible friend who was visible to them alone promising to visit again. The stone tablet once again became normal. Ruth and Rebecca ran shouting, “Grandma! Grandma!” to tell her about the valuable lesson taught by the angel. On seeing the faces of Ruth and Rebecca, fear vanished from the heart of grandma while Ruth started to narrate the case of the stolen wells as told by the angel.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).
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