There is a story of old about a woman, who was very well known around town, but unlike your assumption of, “well then she must be very popular, or an extrovert,” she was the outcast. She was a woman known for going around town, but not in a way you would assume as she was the woman who had multiple husbands.
According to society, she was the girl who could never settle. I mean to have that many husbands she must get bored fast or quite the opposite she must be doing something wrong to be failing so many marriages. To not be able to stay in one place long enough to even have a family. I mean between five husbands she should probably have had some sort of child by now, yet to our surprise she hasn’t even had one. I mean for a woman who gets married so easily and has been around as much as she has, I am utterly shocked that she hasn’t had a child by each husband, but then again as soon as she is married to one they leave her and she is on to the next. Even if she did have children, how would that be considered a stable environment for a child to be raised in?
This woman. This Samaritan woman. The outcast of society, can’t even draw water from the well in the morning with the other women in her community for fear of the comments. The looks, the shame, the guilt. Unwelcome by her own people, she sneaks off midday to gather water for her household and quickly rushes back to her home hoping to elude the passing conversation. I mean if I were her, it would make sense. Why put yourself through unnecessary shame and ridicule as people pass judgements about you? Whether they are true or false might as well let them have their own conversations, leave them to their own gossip and not put yourself in the middle of it.
I get it.
…But then one day, on her normal routine to draw water from the well. At first glance she notices a man sitting at the well. She thinks nothing of him until she notices that he is a jew. Great! Just what she needs. Another person from a different community who is not even supposed to socialize or speak to her sitting right by where she needs to draw water. She thinks to herself if there is another well close by, but that one is a much further walk. She takes a mental estimate of the water she has left back at her home, but she knows that it is not enough for what they need and coming back at night is not an option as that would just leave her open to more assumptions and gossip to be passed along, so what does she do? She bites the bullet, keeps her head down, she is going to do this as fast as possible and get out of there as fast as possible. Hopefully he won’t even notice her and maybe if there is a God that hears her prayers in this moment He would make her invisible until she had what she needed and she can go back home unscathed and unnoticed. I mean no one notices her anyway outside of the shame she carries.
This poor woman.
I mean put yourself in her shoes for just a moment or if you’re anything like me you don’t even have to imagine yourself in her shoes as you’re familiar with the steps she’s walked. You’ve done things you regret, you’ve made mistakes. To be so weary from the journey, so tired of listening to all of the horrible comments, judgements, and assumptions people have made about you. To be defined by all that has happened to you thinking that there is nothing left. Your faith fried. You have nothing left to give or offer and now, you’re just tired. No hope left. You have searched and searched and searched for a man that will finally love you in the way you dream, the way you have prayed for. To feel validated and accepted for once in your life and actually feel worthy of an unconditional love not because of anything you have done but because he simply just loves you.
He just loves YOU.
You’re his world and everything he has prayed for and yet in the moment you think that you have finally found it, you come up short. They leave…again. Ghosted. Not to be heard from ever again, and where does that leave you? Back at square one feeling as if you have been tossed to the way side. Unworthy of their care and affection and as much as you want to believe others when they tell you, “Well he just wasn’t the right one,” or the infamous, “Well honey, there are plenty of fish in the sea, and soon enough you will find yours,” you begin to wonder if it is something that is wrong with you. Did you do something wrong? What happened that made it change so quick? I mean you really thought that you were onto something right? To be honest, it’s not just validation from men, but you are just hoping for someone, anyone to just take a moment to hear your side of the story, your hurt.
To just spare a single moment of their time and allow you to come up for air and feel heard!
Well, this is what the Samaritan woman thought and after years and years of trying, I could only imagine how weary was from all that has transpired throughout her life, and now all she simply wants to do is get through this next passing moment unscathed by yet another judgement. To just disappear, get her water, and go home. But what happens next is quite the contrary to what she prayed for. This man, this jewish man, has the nerve to ask her to draw him some water. Are you kidding? A samaritan woman drawing water for a jew? This must be some kind of a joke, but to her surprise it was quite the opposite. This man’s voice was gentle and not demanding. He was kind and not judgmental. Why would he want water from her? To her surprise He starts to have a real conversation with her and mentions this gift of a living water and if she knew who He was and the living water that His father gives freely, she would never thirst again. He asks her to call her husband, but he knows that she doesn’t have one, and the man she is living with now isn’t her husband.
To thirst no more.
This man knows everything wrong she has done in her past, all that has transpired, every little thing she has done in her life, and yet unlike her community, instead of passing yet another judgment, He simply breathes life back into her. Inviting her into an unconditional love that surpasses every wrong and every mistake. To no longer be riddled with shame and guilt.
To finally find rest for her weary soul.
Could you imagine the kind of world we would live in, if we took the time to sit down, hear people’s stories…and I mean the good, the bad, and the deep dark ugly, and instead of passing judgement, or trying to be a fixer…we simply loved them. We loved them with all that we have and with a love that unconditional. Could you imagine the healing? The peace? To see people who have been suffocating in their own misery, finally burst through and take a deep breath. To know that yes, there has been a great deal that has been said and done, but none of that defines them anymore because there is a compassionate and loving God that has set all of that aside, He has met them with forgiveness, and offers a fresh start. A second chance to live the life of their dreams and know that no matter what comes their way, there is someone in their corner constantly fighting for them, protecting them, and someone who actually care. No longer will they have to seek out validation! No longer will they have to be weary in their journey, but now they have a hope. They have a hope for a brand new tomorrow and assurance knowing that God is going to bring the right people into their life, He is going to rebuild all that has been broken down or turned to ash. He is going to use it all and make something beautiful out of something that was labeled shameful, ugly, worthless, and undeserving of anything good.
I mean just look at the adulterous woman. Everyone was so quick to judge her and condemn her for her choices, so much so that they were ready to stone her to death, but then Jesus. One man in a single moment offers a reckless, unselfish love, full of forgiveness, and speaks life into a soul dead to the good things of this world because she believed she was unworthy of it. She was once a girl who could only ever be used or admired for her body or what she could do for others with no hope of a future or a family, now set free and brought to life once again.
To have Hope…
Can you imagine the life these women must have had that lead them to where they were? The constant failures, the let downs, broken promises, the abuse, the lies they were not only told, but the lies they believed, the labels they were given? Its funny how easy it is to make someone feel so worthless or undeserving of love…yet we can say the same thing in the moments that love breaks through.
All it took was a single moment before their savior to change their lives forever and to bring healing to wounds they thought would never heal.
A single moment.
So what are you doing with the moments that are laid before you?
Are you using them to speak life? Or are you turning a blind eye, passing another judgement, or looking the other way.
Jesus didn’t have to meet the woman at the well. To be honest she was out of His way, off of the beaten path. She was in a place that people only passed through and didn’t take a second thought to actually stop. But then He stopped. He looked up, He saw His beloved daughter hurting, and he took time out of His day to have a single conversation, that changed everything, not only for her, but for her entire community as she turned to others and shared with them the love He shared with her.
Like a pebble tossed into a still pond, the one before Him didn’t allow the conversation to stop with her, she shared it so that others who were hurting or feeling ashamed could be free as well.
So what are you doing with the moments you are given? What are the words you are speaking in each conversation you are having with others?
Are you speaking life? Or are you speaking death? It’s your choice.
One conversation can change everything!