I come to this well every day. Every day I wait until noon when no one else will see me. I pull my veil close, this veil of shame that covers me, smothers me. I am an outcast. But, I need water, so I keep coming back, drop the bucket down into the depths. Some days, I think of dropping myself into the cool darkness, letting the water cover me.
But, today, something was different…
I saw a man sitting here by the well, and froze in my tracks, thought of turning back. It is obvious he is a Jew and that may mean trouble (for Jews do not think highly of us), but I need water. I pull my veil closer, steeling myself for the words that will surely come. I avert my eyes hoping just to be ignored. And, then he speaks.
“Give me a drink.”
What? Did I hear him right?
I dare not look at his face, but I make some retort about being a Samaritan AND a woman, and why is he asking me this? Is he here only to torment me like so many others?
My thoughts flit back to my life and the failure of it all. So much rejection at the hands of men. I don’t even care anymore. It is hard to feel anything anymore. It is hard to keep going on, trudging through the pain. Is anything worth living for? I am not worth much I know, and I give myself away as if I am free.
My thoughts are interrupted as I hear him talking to me again and now he is saying something about having some sort of Living Water that I know not of and that I will never thirst again and that it will well up within me, continually flowing into eternal life and if I had only known who he was, I would have asked it of him.
What is he saying?
I finally glance up and am held by his gaze. Those eyes. A kind voice. Who IS this man? And, I’m not even sure I understand, but something is happening inside of me and I cannot help this longing that almost consumes me, so I blurt out,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty nor have to come to this well ever again!”
At this, he says,
“Go call your husband and come back here.”
My heart sinks. Ah, yes. Back to the reality of who I am.
Rejected. Worthless. Divorced.
The shame envelopes me again as I dejectedly answer,
“I have no husband.”
I hear him saying,
“Truly you have spoken, for you have had five husbands and the man you are living with now is not your husband.”
I glance up at him but I do not see judgment in his eyes. I don’t know why I feel this way, but I don’t want to disappoint him. I am still cautious and so I decide to test him a little,
“Well, Sir, I see that you are a prophet.”
I don’t stop there but ask a loaded question, hoping to change the subject from my relationship problems:
“Our forefathers worshipped on this mountain, but you [Jews] say that Jerusalem is where it is proper to worship.
As he answers, he speaks of a time coming, and is now come when genuine worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth and that the Father is seeking those who will worship this way. I see that he is not waylaid by my impertinence, but that there seems to be a passion for what he speaks of.
I still don’t quite understand and I am becoming weary. I need to draw more water, so I say with resignation,
“I know that the Messiah is coming, He Who is called the Christ: and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us.”
And, then he says words that send shivers down my spine:
“I, Who now speak with you, am He.”
In that instant, I know. I know Who this man is!
So, I drop my pitcher and run.
I run from my old life and all of it's pain.
I tell all the people,
“Come meet the One who knows. He told me everything I ever did! Can this not be the Christ?”
And all the people are running.
And the tears of joy are running down my face as I finally know that I have found the One whom my soul was longing for.
I have finally encountered the One who would make me whole.
He had the water I needed all along.
~ christa jean