In the house on the hill, there lived a man and a woman, newlyweds that loved each other dearly. For many years, they lived, loved, and enjoyed what they had together. After some time, they decided to have a child and were blessed with a baby girl. They were happy.
There was a certain gift given to the couple for their wedding by the pastor who married them: a clay jar. The pastor told them that what was important was not the jar itself, but what lay inside of it. For many years afterward, the couple kept the jar on the shelf as the most precious gift they had received.
However, the man became gravely ill. A doctor in a nearby town gave the man an examination and told the couple that he did not have long to live. Devastated from the news, the woman cried nearly every night when sleeping with the man. Nevertheless, near the man’s time of death, he brought his wife to his side with their daughter in her arms. He said, “Last night, I was visited in a dream by a man standing by the river Jericho. I may be dead soon, but a part of me will always stay with you. When I die, take my heart out of my chest and put it in a clay jar. Don’t be afraid. After I die, my heart will keep beating, and as long as you love me, my heart will still beat for you.”
Not long after, the man died. The wife could not bring herself to take her husband’s heart out herself. Therefore, she called for the doctor and asked a favor of him before a funeral could be planned; she asked for the heart out of her husband’s chest and into the clay jar. The doctor was horrified, but the wife convinced him to take out the heart. Using his expertise and what he had on hand, he took out the heart and put it in the nearby clay jar, not noticing anything out of the ordinary. After the doctor left, the wife took up the clay jar. For a minute, it stayed as lifeless as it had been in the doctor’s hands: but after a few moments, she began to hear the heartbeat, and she cried. Every night since then, she took the jar down from a spot on the shelf and listened to the heart’s beat.
Life was not easy for the mother and the daughter. After many years, the daughter moved away in order to start a fresh life. The mother, on the other hand, eventually became bitter and would blame the death of her husband for her misery.
One day, the daughter came back to visit her mother, realizing that she did not want her mother to feel abandoned. The mother was thankful, and they visited about the daughter’s new life and the joy she created for herself. Unfortunately, when the daughter asked about her mother’s life, the mother talked only bitterly, saying her only comfort was the clay jar. The daughter claimed that her mother should have moved on, and they engaged in a spiteful argument. In anger, the daughter blamed the clay jar itself, and in an instant, took it down and threw it to the ground. The mother gasped and looked down at the jar. It was then that both mother and daughter observed that all there was left from inside of the now-broken jar was lifeless dust.