Tuesday, September 1, 2009

the woman at the well.

Below is actually a re-posting of something I wrote for a group of middle school girls I taught last summer. I came across it today, and it touched me. Maybe it will touch you too.

"Jesus meets us at our well." When she said it, I knew it was going to stick with me. Our class had been talking about the lessons we had learned from the Samaritan woman and her story. I had asked each girl to name off one or two "one-liners" that she might teach someone else about the story found in John 4. Their answers amazed me.

"Don't be afraid to be bold."

"God loves us no matter who we are or where we are."

"We can't live without the water."

And then... "Jesus meets us at our well."

I thought all of their answers were brilliant; they were catchy, but true. Scriptural truths that, truth be known, anyone could understand. But that last one is the one that stuck.

I think when she said it, this particular girl was referencing her baptism, how the well in John 4 symbolized the baptism she herself had experienced. The comparison was, I thought, pretty profound for a middle schooler. And then it also got me thinking: yes, Jesus meets us at our "well," at the baptistry when we decide to enter into a commitment with Him. But doesn't He also find us before? Doesn't He seek us out even before that crucial moment of death and life intermingling?

I think He does. That day, that hot midday, the Samaritan woman was just going to get water. Maybe she was cooking; maybe she was cleaning. Maybe she was just downright thirsty. Whatever her reason, this, for her, was routine. It wasn't for Jesus.

Other Jews didn't take the route through Samaria. They went out of their way to avoid the city at all costs. Not Jesus. He took His disciples straight on through, and then He sat. At the well. He sent His disciples for some food, and He waited. He might have been thirsty, but He didn't get Himself a drink. He waited for the woman whose life He would soon change to come and get it for Him. Unheard of? Yes. Unconventional? Absolutely. Necessary? You bet.

"Jesus meets us at our well, but He doesn't intend for us to stay there."

The Samaritan woman wouldn't have met Jesus there on her own accord. Jesus had to be the one to meet her. And boy, was He willing. He met, and they talked. Like one of the girls put it Wednesday: "He knew her better than she knew herself." And He knows us the same way.

And so He meets us. He comes to us at midday, when we're least expecting Him. He changes our lives because He's willing to meet us where we are. The Samaritan woman was already planning on going to the well that day. It was Jesus who decided to meet her there, right in the middle of perhaps her daily routine. Of course, the story doesn't end there. Jesus meets us at our well, but He never intends for us to stay there. We've got to move on. We've got to go get others. We've got to learn more about Him. We've got to change.

But our own story with Jesus has to start somewhere. And although I agree that partly, the well might represent those waters that figuratively wash my sins away, I also think the well represents that place where Jesus very first came to us, where He first engaged us in conversation with Him. I guess a good question to reflect on would be, where did He meet you? Where was your well? And where have you been going since then?

1 comment:

jenna said...

Beautiful. What incredible middle school girls! And what an even more incredible Saviour!