Slipping through the narrow street, the young man scampered over the things in the alleyway until he reached an old, broken-down shack that lie at the end. He carefully walked up, turned around to see if anyone had followed, and then opened the creaky old door. It squeaked as it opened, and he looked to see if anyone had heard. No one was there. Not a sound. He carefully walked into the shack, and closed the door slightly behind.
A cat jumped off it’s perch, and nearly scared the boy to death as he swerved away from it. Panting, he held his hand to his chest, feeling his heart pounding inside. A few minutes later and the boy caught his breath and continued inside. Like he was the builder of the shack, he made his way to the back and to an old trunk. Being careful that no one was watching, he lifted the latch and lifted the lid. A smile warmed over his face as he gazed at the trunk’s contents. Inside, laying in a bed of sawdust, was a rock. Not just any rock, but the most precious treasure to this young man for in the corner of the rock shined a sparkling gem, of which he was sure was the prettiest diamond he’d ever seen. He dared not tell anyone about it, for they would surely want his gem.
After a little while gazing at his treasure, he closed the lid, put back the latch, and walked back outside, once again making sure that no one had seen or heard a thing, for no one must have his treasure.
Back at his house, his family all gathered around the table for dinner. The father, a farmer by trade from many generations of farmers, sat at the head of the table, as the mother, arms resting on the counter, seemed like she was going to break into tears. “I don’t understand it Charles,” his mother said.
“It’s just that way, May. This has been a bad season, and old Joe Crane down at the bank said that if we didn’t get the money for the latest loan I took out for the feed, that they were going to come out and have to take some of the livestock or something of value from the farm. I can’t think of what we can give him,” replied the father.
But Dad,” the boy said, “If you sell your animals won’t that make it harder for you to make money to pay it off?”
“It would, son, but I don’t see any other choice.” The son had never disclosed any information about his treasure. Any time he was asked about it, the response was that he was off doing something personal or doing something that he thought was fun. No one ever pressed him to find out what took so much of his time, and he never volunteered that information.
It was about a month later, the father had sold some of the livestock, and the family was still in financial trouble. To make matters worse, his little sister caught a dreadful disease, and the father was forced to sell some more of the animals to
cover the fee of the doctor. “It’s all I have, do you understand that?” The father told the banker. “I have nothing but the farm left.”
“I’m sorry, sir. I just cannot give you a loan. You have no collateral or any previous credit rating. I’m afraid that there is nothing that I can do for you.” Disappointed and disheartened, the father turned around and headed for the door. He
walked out, and back to the house.
That day, the boy visited his treasure again, thinking of how he would never have to face the problems that his dad was facing. A twinge of guilt sprung up inside him as he viewed the gem. Maybe I should let my father know about the gem, he thought. He felt for his sister, and knew how the family was in trouble, yet, at the same time, wondered if the gem were enough or whether his treasure would be worth anything. Even if it was, his dad would probably never listen to him tell of a diamond he had– he would think it was a dream or that he was just a child.
Another month passes. The farm has been sold to a wealthy city man. The family is allowed to stay on it, with pay, out of the rich man’s generosity. The daughter is getting better, though still not out of the hospital. The rent on the place is coming due, and the young boy decides to tell his father about the treasure.
“Dad. I need to tell you something.”
“Not now, son. I’m kinda busy.”
“But Dad, it is important.”
“So is what I am doing.”
“No buts. Now, run along and check to see if your mother has anything for you to do.” The boy hangs his head and walks away. After he is done helping his mother, he walks back to his treasure, takes it out of the box, and works his way to a jeweler. “Let’s see what you have here, son.” The man said. He eyed the rock and the gem in the top. “It’s a diamond all right, but let’s see just how big it is.” The jeweler carried the rock into the back, where he had a hammer and chisel. Carefully, the jeweler banged at the rock to reveal a whole lot bigger diamond than he had ever imagined.
“I’m sorry son, but I don’t have enough money to pay for this diamond. There is a jeweler in the city that could buy it from you.” He gave the young man the address, and with that, the young man headed out to his farm house with the diamond in a bag for safe keeping. But, it was too late. His father had already taken matters into his own hands and had stolen from the city man and was thrown into prison. His mother, desperate for money or work, had left the house to who knows where.
So, the young man went to his sister, showing her the diamond, and telling her all about how an old man had showed him the trunk and gave him the diamond– a real treasure to him. And how he kept it, and never thought that it was as big as it really was, and how much it was worth. How he thought that no one would believe him, and so, he kept it hidden. The sister, tears in her eyes, asked, “But why? Why didn’t you tell us sooner? Why did you wait all this time to share with us
something so valuable?”
“I don’t know.”
Christian, your salvation, your very life from God, is a treasure given to you freely from Christ Jesus Himself. Precious beyond measure was the blood that was shed for you. He gave His life, and commands us to go share the message, give the witness, spread the faith! Why is it that this most precious treasure, far greater than anything we could ever imagine, lies locked up inside ourselves or in our churches. Why isn’t it everywhere– on our tongue continuously?