She ignores the figure resting by the well in the vain hope that he’ll do the same. She doesn’t need to be shunned by someone else today. Why else would she venture here in the middle of the day? No one is supposed to be here. Why is he here?
‘Please,’ his gentle voice says, ‘give me a drink.’
Shock seizes her and she stares at the bold Jew for a long moment. Recovering, she clears her throat and mutters, ‘Why would you ask me for a drink? A woman of Samaria…’
She shakes her head – men always wanted something from her. This Jew was no different...
A smile makes its way into his voice. ‘If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I AM, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.’
‘Sir, you have no rope and no bucket, and this well is deep.’ She sniggers. ‘Besides, where is this “living water” you speak of? Do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob? He dug this well to water him, his children, and his livestock…’
He gazes curiously at her, but his smile is unwavering. ‘Anyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It will bubble forth within them, like a fresh ever-flowing spring.’
She laughs. ‘Oh please, sir, give me this water! I beg you. Then I won’t have to come here—’ She grits her teeth as she heaves an empty jar onto the well’s edge. ‘Every. Single. Day.’
‘Go get your husband and come back.’
She pauses and her gaze falls. ‘I have no husband.’
‘You’re right when you say you have no husband. You have had five husbands,' he tells her gently, not a trace of judgment or condemnation in his voice. 'And the man you're living with now isn’t even your husband.’
The woman looks up, her eyes ignited. ‘You are a prophet?!’ She leaves her vessel on the well’s edge and tentatively steps toward him. ‘Our fathers worshipped on this mountain,’ she says quietly, taking another step, ‘but you Jews say Jerusalem is the place to worship… please… tell me, where is the place someone like me may worship?’
His fathomless eyes glaze over. ‘Dear one, believe me, the time has come when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain, not in Jerusalem, but in your heart. Your people don’t really know the One they worship, but we Jews worship out of our experience, for it is from the Jews that salvation has come. I tell you, from now on, worshipping the Father will not be a matter of the right place but with a right heart. For God is a Spirit, and He longs to have sincere worshipers who adore him in the realm of the Spirit and in truth.’
‘This is all so confusing,’ the woman says, shaking her head, ‘but I know that the Messiah is coming – the Christ – and when he comes, he will explain everything to us.’
‘Dear one,’ he says softly. ‘I AM the One you have been waiting for.’
Hot tears burn their way down her cheeks as she gazes lovingly at the man before her – could it be true? Is this the man she has been waiting for? More men come, his followers, but she barely notices them. Leaving her vessel by the well, she runs back down the hill toward the village with renewed strength and dignity. ‘Come!’ she calls. ‘Come and meet a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. He could be the One we’ve been waiting for – he could be the Messiah!’
‘And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”
Are you thirsty?
Join us at the Wellspring Women's Retreat
The Wellspring Women's Retreat will be a time of refreshment, fellowship, and reflection. It will be fully catered and will include art therapy sessions, worship, and, of course, a whole lot prayer and revival through God's Word.
Every woman will receive the official 'Wellspring Journal', which includes a 21 day follow up devotional, featuring the inspired reflections of Christian authors Anusha Atukorala, Susan Brown, Elizabeth Chapman, Jenny Glazebrook, Wendy Parker, Julie Willersdorf, and Jade Wyatt.
Women will also be invited to join a Facebook community to continue to build relationships from the day and to encourage one another through the 21 day devotional.
(Adapted from the story of the Samaritan Woman in John 4)