She was a Samaritan.
She was promiscuous.
She was churchy.
This poor woman has been lambasted in pulpits everywhere. She is considered to be nothing more than a loose and undignified woman, yet we overlook the most vital elements of the story.
She was thirsty.
And all of us are thirsty for something.
It’s a fact that humans can live for weeks without food, but only three to five days without water. How much more will spiritual thirst drive us to seek relief from these so-called “tall drinks of water”?
I won’t go as far to say that I admire the Samaritan woman, but I do understand her. Five times married. Sixth man shacking up… She hoped in love, couldn’t find it, yet kept on trying.
I’ve been there. Well, only married once… But countless times I’ve sought for love.
Back at the well, a place where only single and unattached women were to be found, she met Jesus. Think back to when Abraham’s servant sought a wife for Isaac… where did he go? To the well, and there he found Rebekah. Where did Jacob first see Rachel? Again, at the well. Where do you go when you want some attention at work? To the proverbial water cooler…
So why would a woman who lived with a man be at the well if she was already “involved”?
For the same reason many of us run to the club. Or wear revealing clothing. Or take new photos for Facebook and Instagram everyday. Or lay ourselves down in hopes that he or she will love us. Or tell someone we love them knowing we do not.
Many of us are unfulfilled, dissatisfied, and disappointed. We’re thirsty.
We have a deep desire to be loved and deeply cherished, not just “chose”. (Chose is twitter terminology for being good enough to be picked by someone to be in a relationship yet the term does not communicate anything about the quality of the relationship. It simply means you’ve got somebody which, to me, means very little.)
And here comes Jesus, with his smooth line…
“If you knew who is speaking to you right now, you’d ask me to give you water. And if you ask me, I’ll give it you and you’ll never thirst again.”
In hood vernacular, “You ain’t never met nobody like Me.”
Every time I read that line I smirk. Say what you want about my Lord, but He knows how to talk to a woman. You can’t tell me that sister from Samaria didn’t melt. No wonder she had to come up with all that crap about where and how to worship. She was nervous!
But back to the story. Place yourself at that well for just a moment. Look deep down and consider whether the thing you’re desiring is at the bottom. You already know what’s there. You’ve been drinking from it for how long?
Now look at the bucket. Can such a small vessel possibly hold the fullness of what you desire? Certainly not!
Now turn your eyes to Jesus… He is the seventh man in the story. He is offering exactly what you need. He will fill YOU so that you need not come back to the well for something that temporarily satisfies! He will fill complete you, perfect you, and mature you so that you can help someone else.
I must leave the well. Single and unattached, I may be but there’s nothing at the well for me.
Your well may not be the same as mine. But consider… the lilies… and your secret longings. God is faithful to give you those desires, but not until we have turned to Him and allowed ourselves to be filled by His love and grace.
With sincerity, love, and hope for the future,
Scripture references: John 4, Genesis 24, Genesis 29
Photo by Kashif Mardani from Flickr