In 1877, as the story goes, James and Armanda Lynch settled in a small valley in Palo Pinto County, about 50 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas. They had suffered much in their quest for a new home, with Comanches and malaria as their biggest enemies.
By the time a small cabin was built, both James and Armanda suffered from severe rheumatism. But more concerning, Armanda started exhibiting signs of acute cognitive decline similar to frontotemporal dementia. Her actions frightened others, and unfortunately, some referred to her as being “crazy.”
The nearest water was the Brazos River, and that was over four miles away. Eventually, with the help of friends, a well was dug to provide for the family. But the well water had a strange taste, and they feared that it was unhealthy. They let their cattle drink it, and over a period of time, the herds became happy and healthy. So, the Lynch family started drinking it, too.
Soon, James and Armanda began to feel better. Their rheumatism cleared up, and Armanda began thinking much more clearly. In fact, she resumed her normal personality, and the neighbors noticed. Word spread, and people from all over came to the Lynches' well and asked to drink the water from the “crazy woman well.” After several other wells were dug, tents were pitched in the fields, and eventually, the town of Mineral Wells began.
Even today, one of those wells is still producing alleged “healing” water. That well is located in the Crazy Water Retirement Hotel on Oak Avenue in Mineral Wells.
People came from all over the world to drink at the well hoping to find benefits for their health. Scientists say that “crazy water” contains a significant amount of the mood-stabilizing drug lithium, which is sometimes used today to treat various maladies like bipolar disorder, depression, and possibly cluster headaches.
Can crazy water cure diseases and give new life? The verdict is still out. But the Bible presents a well that can provide strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. It’s true. It was in the Old Testament that we first heard the good news: “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:3 ESV)
Later, Jesus spoke of life-giving water when He met the woman at the well. They were discussing water that would satisfy natural thirst, but Jesus said in John 4:14 ESV, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Crazy water is still being tested. But the water of life that Christ offers is proven to be effective and life-changing. As Jesus said in John 7:37 ESV, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.”