Carrying her pottery water jug on her shoulder, she trudged slowly and deliberately to the outskirts of the city. The streets were quieter now as most were taking rest from the noonday sun. She had successfully avoided the early morning chatter at the well again. Although for most Samaritan woman this daily job of water lugging was tiresome, it did provide a pleasant moment to gather together with others. T’was a welcome opportunity to catch up on family affairs and daily happenings around Sychar. Funny, however, what may be a pleasant experience for one can be a nightmare for another.
Lifting her eyes, the woman could see the life-giving well in the distance, and a lone figure is leaning against it. She slowed her pace only for a moment then summoned all the courage within her to continue her trek. There were no options. This well was the only source of water for miles around. Water had to be drawn, and it had to be drawn from this particular well… whether she liked it or not.
The woman avoided eye contact with this unfamiliar presence as much as she possibly could. Through years of practice, she had gotten very good at averting the glances of others. It was the only thing she knew to do. Her reputation always preceded her and her shame continually followed her wherever she went. Steering clear of faces, she had proved, was much easier than avoiding the guilt that she carried inside of her.
His words broke the silence…at noonday… by the well.
“Give Me a drink of water.”
That voice jolted her to attention. For the first time, she turned to look fully into His face. He was obviously a Jew. A stranger. But His eyes were kind and His voice light.
“A drink, would you get Me a drink?” He repeated.
Confused at His request, she responded, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?”
She knew the history of her people well. She understood the despise that the Jews had for Samaritans. She recalled the words “half-breed” and “unclean” spoken over her culture by her Jewish neighbors. She was fully aware that most Judean Jews would turn the 70 mile trip from Judea to Galilee into a 140-mile hike just so that they could avoid passing through her land!
And now this man, a Jew Himself, shows up out of nowhere, acknowledging her, speaking to her, and asking her for help?
Unthinkable. Unheard of. Unbelievable.
Since He is a Jew, she reasoned, He must understand that being seen in public with her would bring shame upon His head. If they were to be noticed together by any Jewish folk, He would surely be looked down upon and spoken against. If He were actually to receive water from her jug, He would become unclean, having infected Himself with the touch of a dirty unbeliever. Yet, He had asked for a cup of water from a Samaritan…a woman none-the-less…and a woman whose only option was to fill her water jug at noon because she is an outcast of her society, branded by her immoral lifestyle.
Jesus is a radical lover of the human soul. His gaze penetrates into the deepest recesses of the heart. His unconditional love surpasses any love any has ever known. He looks into and then beyond the messes we are.
Jesus intentionally visits the well at our noondays, waiting to make Himself known. He purposely lingers, longing to reveal Himself to us.
His intentions are always good.
His motives are always pure.
His heart is always right.
His love is always deep.
His desire is always towards us.
Jesus values each person He meets at the well…at noon. He does not show up to judge, to degrade, to criticise, or to give an ultimatum to. He doesn’t come looking for a fight. He doesn’t appear at the well eager to cast dirty looks at the fools we have been and show disgust for the choices we have made. He reveals Himself at the well…at noon…to give us something that we could never get on our own.
Fully knowing just who we are and all that we have become, He still comes looking to begin a Holy Romance with us. Us common, broken, hurting people who have no reason to be loved.
And He waits at the well.