"Once, there was a small town in the middle of some hills. And that town had beautiful, rich soil, beautiful rich soil in which nothing would grow. Year after year, the towns' folk would plan their seeds, but nothing worked. No matter how hard they toiled, they just couldn't make the crops last. Each year, they would wither and die.
"This is beautiful, rich soil," the people lamented. "Why can we not get anything to grow? There must be some secret to it. If only we knew that secret, we would not starve, and our children would grow up big and strong. If only..." But they did not know the secret, and so their crops continued to wither and the people continued to suffer. For no matter how hard they worked, no matter where they looked, they could not find that secret, or make those seeds take root.
On the other side of the ridge, there was another village. This one was small, but thriving. The difference - the people there knew the secret, and their village was thriving. Soon, there was no land left. So, a young couple made the decision to move across the ridge. Everyone from their home village cautioned them:
"They do not know the secret in that town. You will starve if you go there."
The young man and his wife laughed.
"No we won't - we know the secret, we won't starve. And perhaps we can share the secret with them."
The village folk shook their heads sadly.
"They will not accept you, they will not believe you there." They said.
"Maybe not," the young woman replied. "But we can share our food with them, we can help them. All our lives we've grown up with an abundance of what truly matters, and they've had none. Even if they don't believe us at first, we can still help them, and maybe then they will believe."
The young man and his wife got to work, planting their crops. The neighbors looked on curiously, as the plants took root, and as they began to grow.
"How can that be? They must know the secret," they whispered.
By winter, the young couple had food in abundance. They shared it with anyone who needed it, and did all they could to help the people around them. And, when the time seemed right, they began to share the secret. Not everyone believed them. Many scoffed, scorned and rejected both them and their secret. But some listened, as the man and his wife told how watering the crops with the water of life, which flowed up in the hills, and they collected daily, made the crops grow - the muddy water, which sprung up from below, they explained, did nothing to help anything grow.
At last, the fertile soil was being used as it was intended. The town was slowly being transformed. Not all of it, mind you, some people still refused to listen. But the majority received the news, full of excitement. And with each new person who came to understand, the young man and his wife, who were not so very young anymore, grew even more glad that they had moved there. Yes, it had been hard. Yes, they'd been rejected, hated and scorned. But they'd also been loved, valued and honoured.
But more than that, they'd shared their Secret. And that was the best thing of all."
"And Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up into eternal life." ~John 4:13-14~
"And He said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not will be condemned." ~Mark 16:15-16~