An Ordinary Day
We go about so many days the same way we've gone about so many before them. Focused on ourselves and our own situation. Complaining, but not expecting anything to change. Sticking to a routine that fills our schedules but doesn't fulfill our souls.
We don't know much about the “woman at the well”, but as I read her story in the Gospel of John, chapter 4: verses 3-42, I find myself wondering what may have been going through her mind. Dare we put down our water jars and listen to the One who knows us best?
“Look at me now!”, sighed Eve as she trudged down to the well, “I had my whole life planned out when I was a girl. How did I get here? Hot, tired, alone. So alone! Sneaking out to get water while they're all resting in the heat of the day. Coming when no one will see me as if I was a criminal! I'm no criminal! I've only done what I've had to do to keep a roof over my head and food in my belly!
“That's the only thing that's ever been in my belly! 'Barren': such a wretched, empty word for such a wretched empty life! I was so happy when Ezra and I married! We thought the whole world lay before us! But when no children came, he tossed me aside. Then there was Joe. I was grateful for a second chance! I thought he may have even loved me. Ha! How that changed when I still did not conceive a child. Divorced again, shamed like it was my choice to remain childless! I didn't have much hope with the others. It was just the same story again and again. And to think, me, named after the mother of us all! Now even my own mother won't speak to me! She's had hard choices to make too, and not all of her doings were on the up and up! Do I have stories I could tell about her that would turn heads!
“It's crazy how they all think they're all better than me! What would any one of them have done! It's not like a woman can get a job and earn her own way. They say I've sinned; gone against God's rules. But what do they even know about God's rules? The Jews say we can't even worship properly unless we do it on their mountain. Why isn't our mountain good enough? Why aren't I good enough!”
“At least I have Ben helping me now. He won't marry me, and I don't blame him. I get it; he needs to be assured of an heir to pass on his family's land. Just like the others. At least, for now, he provides a place to call home and some companionship on a cold night.”
Eve was so lost in her thoughts she didn't see the stranger sitting by the well and almost dropped her jar when he spoke to her!
“A man, and Jewish at that, speaking to me? What does he want? Ah, water, of course. What is he saying about water he can provide? 'Never thirst again'? That's a good one! Okay, I'll bite. Let's see this miraculous water! I could use the break from having to trudge out here every day! Ah! Here's the catch! 'Get your husband', let's see how it goes over when I tell him I don't have a husband!.
“Wait! How does he know about them? How does he know that I'm living with Ben? Why is there no condemnation in his voice? Am I hearing compassion? Is he some sort of prophet? What would a Jewish prophet have to say to a Samaritan woman? Well, let's start with the big issue and see what he has to say about the correct place to worship. Where do they even get off, saying we can't worship on our mountain, and then shunning us if we dare to approach theirs?
“Whoa! Not the answer I was expecting! He's not talking about old rules that have been around for ages, but how things are going to change! I've heard about the One who is to come that will teach us the truth. What does he know about that?”
Forgetting her jar and running as quickly as possible, Eve took off toward the city gate. “I am He!”, ringing again in her ears! “He really said it! Just like that! Plain as day! 'I am He!' I've got the tell the others!
Eve started to slow a little, “But will they listen? They'll turn their backs on me before I even open my mouth! They'll say I'm unclean and unworthy to even speak to. He spoke to me. He knows me better than anyone and sees He that I have worth! I can't let them intimidate me; this is too important! Even if they don't listen, I'll still know. I'll always know that He sees my worth. Whose opinion could I possibly value more?” Picking her pace and self-confidence back up, she went straight to the city leaders.
“I can hardly believe it! What a turnaround! Two days ago, no one in Samaria would even speak to me! Now they have question after question! I never would have brought up my divorces; that would have stopped any conversation. Now it's just part of my story. Now it's a story of acceptance! They have spoken to Jesus themselves and believe, not just because of what He said to me, but because of what He has said to each of them! He knows each of them just as He knows me! And now we know the Savior of the world! Jesus!”