The woman at the well, I always imagine her with darting eyes and a determined jaw, pure anxiety blanketed with a thin veil of composure.
She assumes that they’re watching her, they always are. Yet she wasn’t going to give them any more to talk about, she would get her water and get out of there.
I understand her game, that’s how I play it when I believe I’m in the presence of those who think and expect little of me.
But then Christ found her, and oh did he ever find her, right where she was. He cut to the core of her and compelled her to do away with all of her needless trips to the well.
We all know that she would have to return to that well, the one dug by Jacob. She would be back time and time again, because humanity is full of ritual needs, like food and water. They keeps us faithful, reliant, thankful if we allow them to.
No Christ was inviting her to end a different ritual, the one that found her running to different men for approval, obsessing about what the townsfolk thought of her, the one that binding her with insecurities and feelings of utter worthlessness.
Christ wanted to quench her thirst, to satisfy once and for all her questions of “am I good enough?” And “am I wanted?”
And his simple, profound words opened her eyes and cut to the core of her. As she put it: “Here is a man who told me everything I ever did!
Between the lines I read “And he likes, probably loves me anyway!”
“Could this be the Messiah?”
Is this the one? Not because he performed miraculous signs or wonders, but because he knew her, yet still accepted and affirmed her. She was forever worthy because he found her, just as she was at that well one hot afternoon.
And today that’s the water I find myself desperate for.
An affirmation of who I am that lasts, a pronouncement of WHOSE I am that I don’t so easily forget.
Because more often than not, I drink at all the wrong wells.
I try to quench my thirst with text messages, new clothes, numbers on a scale, calories counted, blog stats and what other people say about my children.
These quick sips don’t last, in fact they dry me out like salt water, increase my thirst and keep me frantically running back for more, looking for new wells, more strokes.
I must break this need, give up this unhealthy drinking game and drink deeply, daily of the water that quenches on the best and deepest levels.
I’m breathing prayers to Our Father that I may live from what matters and stop fixating on what doesn’t. I want to get away for this question of “am I good?” The one we’ve been asking since Eden when we instantly saw ourselves and naked, shameful beings.
In the beginning God said we were good and it was enough for us. Then suddenly, painfully it wasn’t anymore and we became frantic beings, scurrying to believe that we’re okay and poisoning ourselves in the process.
Do you feel it? The fatigue of running to all the wrong wells for weak sips of esteem that don’t come close to the quenching taste of the water of God’s worth?
I do. It’s exhausting and I’m sick of it.
Dear Lord, teach me to drink at the well that truly quenches, have patience with my wandering, I’m such a sheep.
Help me identify the poisonous wells and close them off, slash the ropes and break the buckets.
Help me to do away with the habit of esteeming myself and teach me to focus on my worth, the one you wrote on my soul as you knit me together.
Thank you for finding me at this well, on this day, for seeing me, loving me just as I am.
Do you find yourself well wandering too? Can we pray together to drink of our worth and give up the trips to the wells that leave us thirsting and dry?