Monday, February 22, 2016
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, ‘Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John’— although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized— he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he 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’. John 4:1-7
The woman at the well is in trouble. She shows up at noon to draw water from a well. And she shows up alone. First, no one does the hardest work of the day (drawing water), at the hottest hour of the day (noon). And women did not come to the well alone. There was safety in numbers from bandits and other unsavory kinds. But this woman from Samaria is all alone, at noon, with her bucket. Something has happened. Something has separated her from her people. Somehow she is ostracized. If you know the story, you know she has been married and divorced more times that she has fingers on one hand. In her land and time, this would have put her decidedly in the role of outcast. But, at this well, Jesus wades into and through her pain and shame. Though the women of her community have shunned her, the Savior engages her, and speaks peace and power to her soul. Those same women who rolled their eyes at her once, by the end of the story, see her as a spokesperson of truth.
When we have been hurt, shunned, abused, and set apart in painful ways, at a well of living water there awaits one who loves us and welcomes us into a changed status, a status of being made whole. May the one who makes this feeling possible walk with us through this season of Lent.