Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Woman at the Well

Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. And he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:1-26

Woman at the Well

I am not like those approaching
I am darker and their people fear mine
we are enemies now when once we were
friends and hosts to their broken spirits
we picked them up and they left us behind.

I am dark and in the shadows
cautious in this encounter
so much history of suspicion
so much ancient anger that keeps us enemies
so much history that binds us together
here at Jacob's well a place of promise
a deep stream of hope for generations.

I am so different from this man
he sits by the well gazing at the horizon
as I scurry with my tasks too many to bear
he asks me for water and asks me to speak
him who is both stranger and kin
enemy and cousin bids me to stay.

My life has been wild and troubled
never settled, always moving and changing
torn by poverty and whims of men
thrown from my family to seek my fate
the struggle is constant and I am judged
to be lacking and foolish an outcast
in my own village and my own people.

The stranger tells me of the God
who loves us all despite our flaws
who will pour out water and feed our spirits
who visited this sacred place and will
make that sacred visit again.

In this broken family waging war
God is coming to craw us together
God is coming to bind up our wounds
and bring the family back to one table
God is coming close leaning in
and drinking deep.

I am so different and so welcome
my broken life is no barrier
there is not a fetter or chain
that binds me to my pain
and God alone draws near
to set us all free to love.

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