Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Woman at the Well

On Sunday I was leading the singing in church with the children 3-11 years old, my favorite thing in the world!  I had a bunch of pictures of paintings of Jesus' life that would each lead us to sing a song about him.  One of the paintings I held up is the picture "Christ and the Samaritan Woman" by Carl Bloch  (Paintings of Bloch, Jan 1991). I had a basic idea of her story, but a lot of the details were vague.  My mind was suddenly filled with questions about this story.

So the basics of the story are (John 4:5-42) that Jesus and his disciples were traveling through Samaria and stopped at a well while his disciples went into the city to get some food.  Jesus asked a woman who was there at the well to get him a drink of water, and a discussion ensued about the gift of living water.  In the process, Jesus les her know that he knows she has had 5 husbands and the one she is now with is not her husband.  How old is this woman?  Its going to take some time to go through that many men! And what are we to make of the sentence "and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband"?  Kinda makes me wonder if she was living with some guy, but didn't mean that she could be stoned?  Was she keeping that a secret from her neighbors or did they know?

Then Jesus tells her that he is the promised Christ, and...

 28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

And here come more questions:  How long did it take her to get there?  Did she go door to door, or maybe to the market or to a synagogue?  Did she go to strangers or to men she knew?  Did everyone she told come, or most, or just a few?  As she hurried to the city, did she doubt if she could convince anyone to come back with her?  Did she consider not doing anything?  Did she worry that maybe Jesus would be gone by the time she got back, then she would be considered a fool?

And the biggy, for me anyway:   If she told anyone who knew her, would they discount her message because of her lifestyle, because she wasn't perfect?

More questions:  How long was it before she and the men who did listen to her make it back to the well? Now in this age of technology, we can get the word out in seconds, and folks can jump in the cars and be anywhere in minutes.  Not two thousand years ago.  How long did Jesus wait?  It was long enough that his disciples were concerned about whether he had eaten anything.  And speaking of those disciples, how come they didn't bring a crowd to hear Jesus?

So I have lots of questions and few answers.  I tried to put myself there, that day. Honestly, the more I thought about it the more question I came up with (aren't you glad I did write ALL of them?).

 In the end, I come away with two understandings:  
1-No matter who you are, when you have truth to share, leave everything and share it, and no matter how imperfect you are, there will be those who listen.
2-No matter how long it takes,  Jesus will be waiting for you.

1 comment:

  1. Powerful post Holly. Thanks again for sharing such personal feelings with family and friends.