As I stumbled up the steep hill our eyes met. He peered into my heart with his glass-like eyes. I dropped mine, staring at the dust.
Not expecting to see anyone at the well, I encountered this man. I started having a flood of memories. A flood of less than proud moments. Flashes of painful memories were stabbing my heart.
I just need water.
I wanted to run, He wanted to talk.
I wanted to distract myself, He wanted my attention.
What could He conjure up to make me stay? Somewhere between frustrated and furious at life, I ended up here. The middle of nowhere. Always looking for a well.
I wandered and waded through so much muck. Dirty muck.
Now I am thirsty. Every cell in my body thirsting for hydration. And I’m spent.
I bargained with God. You know, I will do this if you will do that. My list of what I promised fell short. My truth? Consistent in under-delivering. Not just one time, multiple times.
Dusty feet carrying a tired life.
He seemed to be in no hurry. Everything I did was rushed.
And here we are.
I nervously adjust my dress straps to distract myself. I could feel him probing my heart before one sentence came out of his mouth.
He asked me for a drink. I reminded Him Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans. It’s not like He didn’t know this. (John 4:4-26)
I am stunned that He is still breaking protocol and asking me for a drink. For that matter, even speaking to me publicly.
He said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you, Give me a drink, you would have asked him, and He would’ve given you living water.”
This well is so deep and He doesn’t have a thing to draw the water with. In fact, He needs some tall boots for how deep this is. It’s gonna be messy. I see His sandals but not boots.
My calloused heart didn’t seem to dissuade him or his approach. Small talk wasn’t really his game, I could sense that immediately.
I would prefer small talk because it keeps a conversation from getting too personal and uncomfortable.
I brushed the gritty dirt off of my face and tried to hide the tears, but they kept falling. It seemed His presence was drawing my tears out.
He says, “Whoever drinks this water will thirst again, but the water I give Him will quench their thirst. It will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
I answer with parched, sun-cracked lips, “Give me this water so I may have my thirst quenched and no longer have to come here.”
I think to myself, week after week I drag myself here with the reminder of how bone dry my life is, and how exhausted I am. So much time to think as I climb the hill every week.
Then He flipped the script.” Go, call your husband, and come here.” “I froze up right then.”
Through a pounding heart,” I mumbled, I don’t have one.” “You’re right, You’ve had five.”
His eyes locked with mine. I wanted to explain, but it’s hard to wrap words around agony.
Heavy hearts looking for shelter can fall into the wrong hands. Dangerous hands. Five different times for me. Looking for love caused me to lose myself.
He started to talk about wounded places and I wanted to leave. It was uncomfortable, so I wanted to run away, except I couldn’t. My feet wouldn’t budge. It felt as if a loving force was holding me there.
As I stood there in that blistering sun, a gentle breeze brushed my hair back. I breathed in this awkward moment. Exhaling nervous tension. Not knowing what to stay, I stared at the ground.
He steps closer. Every step closer He moves; I step back. How far back can someone step to hide? To slip away unnoticed?
There is nowhere to go. I stand undone. The pain I tried to hide was revealed by this man, I perceived He was a prophet. I was uncovered but not exposed. There was no shame.
I felt found. Known. Healing seemed to flood into my being as He spoke with me. It’s unexplainable and undeniable.
His words were so strong but He spoke them with such tenderness. His eyes never left me. Not once.
Everything I had been searching for surprised me on a scorching day at the well.. It seemed like an ordinary day. Until Jesus. He met me there. De-escalating my defenses. Peeling away my hardness and shame.
Giving me hope when all seemed pointless.
I was so overcome with joy at everything He told me I instantly wanted to tell others. They needed what I encountered so they would also thirst no more.
I left so abruptly that I forgot my water. Oftentimes we think we are going to get one thing but leave with something completely different.
And then we realize that is the way God intended it to be.
God isn’t clasping His hand over his mouth in shock when He meets us. His beauty is drawn to the brokenness in us because He wants to heal our hearts.
Disarming us by loving us.
If you find yourself climbing a steep hill and encounter someone who disarms you. Someone who challenges you, lean in. Open up.
He probes your heart on purpose. He will satisfy the thirst you have and it will become a well within you.
What man of you having one hundred sheep, if He loses one of them, leaves the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and goes after the one that is lost until He finds it.
And when He comes home, He calls his neighbors and friends, saying to them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.