..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Jesu Met the Woman at The Well

Jesus met The Woman at the Well.

One day, I never shall forget it, I went to the
well named for "the one who wrestled with the angel
of the Lord." Little did I know that I, too,
would have my own encounter with Him. It was my
custom to go out in the heat of the day to draw
water from the well. I went out at that time to
avoid the self-satisfied, smug looks of the women
who came earlier to gossip together about people
like me.

In the very heart and very heat of the day I met Him.
Can you believe it? He asked me to give Him a
drink! I was about to turn away, or worse yet, tell
Him to get it Himself--my hot-headedness has never
been my best characteristic, but for a moment I
glanced up at His Face and could not look away.

It was not a handsome face, really, as those who
count such things might call handsome, but it was
His eyes--glittering with a heavenly light and
dancing between humor and and an intensity
so great that it pierced my very soul.

I was surprised He seemed to not know the rules
but then again maybe He did and picked me to ask
because God knows, I had broken every rule in
the book. Or maybe He was simply unconcerned with
how others would view things.

He drew me in like a fish caught on a line. "If you
knew who was asking you for a drink, you would
ask Him to give you one." Oh please, I thought,
another line from another man to get something
for nothing." They promise the world and deliver...
well...this is what I was beginning to think because
that is who I was on that hot day beside the well.

But I was wrong about this Man. He promised a
drink that would keep me from thirsting. Huh!
I was all for that. Still it seemed unlikely. More
like the line of a peddler selling pots that promised
to clean themselves. Yet, if truth be told, it was my
curiosity, even my gullibility, that had got me
into so many jams before. I was not so hardened
that I could not hope for such a drink.

"So, Mr. Galilean, where is your magic water? It
would save my back a lot of aching and my lazy,
old husband might like it, too.

"Indeed," said He, "why don't you go get him, this
man of yours who is not really your husband..." My
head jerked up quickly to look into this bold Man's
face. Did this man know me from somewhere?

I began to wonder what was up but I was in no
mood to explain my life's awkward condition. "I
have no husband!"

"Absolutely true, dear woman, the first five
have made you cautious..." I quickly looked down
to avert His eyes. "Surely gossip travels further
than I thought, now it has even spread to the Jews."
I was expecting ridicule and condemnation but I
could not help looking up at Him again, sideways,
through sun-squinted eyes, I found nothing but the
most pure love emanating from His face.

My heart started to pound. "My worst fears have
come upon me, He is a seer, a prophet. He will
see into the black recesses of my soul." Trying to
divert His attention from my inward darkness,
I searched for something, anything, to get Him to
stop looking. Ok, let me try religion, that should
get Him sidetracked."

"Our ancestors say that we should worship on
this mountain, but you Jews say that only in
Jerusalem should God be worshipped."

He responded, "My dear lady, how very quickly
the day comes when both parties you have
mentioned will be found to be somewhat in error
regarding true worship. Worship shall not be
about the right mountain or city but shall arise
from the Spirit in the hearts of all those who
seek God in truth.

"Samaritans do not really know who they are
worshipping, Jews, at least true Jews, do
understand, for salvation is right now coming
from their very midst, but there is much more."

"The Father, who is a Spirit, wants spiritual
worship, not religious form. He wants heart to
heart communion, that is what He delights Him.
He is seeking it at this very moment. Do you
understand what is happening as I speak?"

I knew I was in over my head. I felt all
flustered inside, like two kingdoms had
gone to war within my very belly. "Well then,
when the Messiah comes, and there is always
talk of him coming, he will explain everything
to us. Religion gets so very confusing."

I wanted to end the conversation having exhausted
all I knew about these matters, and quickly having
exhausted myself, but then He said the most
incredible thing:

"I who speak to you am He."

From somewhere inside me something broke
open and started to spill up and out: like a
water jug overfilled, like a dam breaking, like the
sun rising out of the darkness, like life coming to
this dead woman's heart.

He was the Messiah!

I could feel the strength of that revelation
rising up within me, and I knew it was,
indeed He was, the Truth itself. I made no
attempt to fight it. It wasn't that He knew
everything about me, it was that He knew why
I had done all that I had done and somehow,
did not reject me for it.

In that one moment it felt like the whole of
my past had suddenly flashed behind me, and
dissolved like a bad dream, and the whole of
eternity stretched out before me. But only a
moment had passed. A holy, timeless moment.

Suddenly I could see His disciples returning to Him
and fear gripped me as they searched me, and then
Him, with their eyes. They said nothing, but before
they could, I ran away. I threw the water jug down
and left Him standing there. I ran partly out of
fright and partly out of excitement. I ran because
I was dead and now because I was alive. I ran and
told everyone I knew, I told people who I liked and
people who did not like me. I told my crowd and
I told the high-and-mighty crowd. I did not care.
He was the Messiah! My reputation had not been
the greatest but the force with which I spoke
sent people running for the well to find Him.

And find Him they did. Most of them anyway.
It was not like you could resist Him. Oh no.
It was not like you could resist Him.

(John 4:5-44)
(Jesus met the woman at the well)

No comments: