Thursday, October 21st John 4:5-15

“So Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” John 4:5-15

I don’t believe human nature has changed much over the years. That’s why Bible characters spring to life when you enter their stories. My heart has always gone out to the woman at the well.

An anonymous woman, heading to the well to get water at noon so that she doesn’t have to face the whispers of the town gossips who draw water at the normal early morning hour. A faceless woman who has been mistreated by men and now lives with someone because of their mutual fear of making a commitment that might lead only to more heartache.

She has been a victim but she is not willing to be victimized. She’s a proud, intelligent woman, able to exchange quick witted barbs with the strange Jew she meets by the well.

I don’t know this woman but I love her. I love who she is, what she represents, her fortitude, her dignity, her pain. I love her for standing up to Jesus. And I love her for being open to the good news that he is going to bring her way. I love her for her thirst for the best that life has to give – a thirst that has not been quenched, yet has also not died despite the discouragements she has faced along the way.

I love this woman, and I love our Lord who gives his time, his heart and his powerful love to her. Later in the story, the disciples just don’t understand why Jesus would be talking to a foreign woman out in public. No, they don’t understand. They don’t have to. She does. She returns to town after a life changing encounter with a man who was simply there for her, expecting nothing in return. She couldn’t help but share that news.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we all carry the wounds of life. Jesus brought healing to the wounds carried by a faceless woman at a well. May he bring that healing salve of time, attention, affirmation and love into our lives this day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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