He’d been left alone. After days surrounded, not just by the 12 guys he had invited to follow him, but also by the swarms attracted to him, finally the buzz of conversation ceased and he was alone. He sat on the warm stone of the well soaking up the sunshine and the silence. That glorious solitude was his real thirst.
Then she arrived, she had the worn out appearance of someone who had been treated like she was disposable. Over the years she had hidden behind a tough exterior; confrontational and defensive. You’ve met her too; in a blank stare at the bus stop, in a gruff glare across the counter, in a sworn snarl in the hallway.
When Jesus met her, she was at the well. Coming late in the day she avoided the company of other women. She was the opposite of Jesus in every way; woman, Samaritan, adulterer, lonely. She didn’t thirst for solitude; her isolation was not a choice. Jesus was still an unwelcomed companion, but Jesus pushed past that tough exterior to the real thirst in her heart.
Jesus had every reason to keep to himself. He had the cultural mandate against talking to Samaritans. He had the social expectation that he would not strike up conversation with unknown women. He had the religious obligation to not associate with sinners. He could have kept his head down and pretend to be asleep. But the living, breathing person in front of him didn’t just represent all that he should avoid in life. She was his REASON for life. She was thirsty. He was the living Water
Jesus took an interruption in his life and turned it into a blessing. Can we have the courage to do the same? Lent is an interruption to our lives. For these few weeks we break up the rhythm of our days. We may not welcome that interruption. Perhaps we have taken up new discipline that focuses our attention, and maybe it is exhausting us. But life still goes on around us, and interruptions still happen. How do we deal with the interruptions? Do we avoid them? Jesus teaches us that the interruption is as meaningful as the journey. As you go about your days this Lent, look for the woman at the well. She’s thirsty, and you can offer Living Water.
Come everyone who is weary and sad.
Come to the fountain; there’s fullness in Jesus-
All that you’re looking for. Come and be glad.