A meditation on John 4:1-10

            Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
      The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
      Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
      When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
      The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
      Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:1-10)
      A meditation on John 4:1-10 given by Deacon Howard Smith of Christ Church Schenectady after Stations of the Cross on Friday, February 19th:
            Thirsty at the Well — Would God Talk to Me?
                  Dedicated to Beverly Rose

In the voice and the person of the Samaritan Woman:

      I thirst.
      I thirst, and it is almost midday and so I sit here in the house with the curtains drawn, watching him sleep and hearing him breath.
      He’s a good man, when he’s sleeping.
      Hugh, he is drooling. He should be after drinking all night.
      I don’t mind him drinking, because when he drinks, he doesn’t beat me.

      He’ll be waking up soon —thirsty.
      And he’ll be angry that I didn’t get water from the well in the morning — like a good woman should.
      But I hate going out there.
      The whole town hates me. The whole town despises me.

      Mostly I’m invisible. Do you know what it is like to be invisible?
      No one sees you, no one hears you. And if your eye do meet some one else’s eyes — you get hatred, loathing and a quick turn away.

      None of the good merchants will sell me, and the bad ones will when no one else is looking.

      Oh what it would be like to seen, just seen, with out scorn or repute.
      What is there to look at? I’m garbage. I’m crap. I’m a woman who has had 5 husbands. Five!
      And this man sleeping before is not my husband. Though I act like his wife when and how he wants me.
      He looks at me. He sees me.
      And the yelling and the screaming, at least his is communicating with me.
      That is more than I deserve.
      I am lucky to have him, — for without him, I would have to be a prostitute.
      And I thank God I am not a prostitute.
      So here I sit, thirsty.

      He is waking. He is going over to the water bucket. He’s angry. Why am I so surprised we go through this every day.
      Except today he throws the bucket at me.
      “Good for nothing… worthless piece of crap….”
      “Why can’t you get water in the morning like all the other woman?”
      So I grab the bucket and run out the door, answering his question in my own mind.
      Why don’t I go to the well with the good woman of this town. Because they are so vishes, they snarl and the glare.
      I have had sand thrown in my face, and water dumped on me.
      They tell their daughters to stay away from me.
      “She’s no good,” they say, “She’s dirty.”
      There has to be some part of me that’s clean.
      There has to be some part of me that worth something.
      If they would really look at me and knew me, they would see it.

      I’m almost at the well, —good because I’m thirsty.
      There is someone there, in the heat of the day?
      It’s a man. It’s a Jew. That’s all I need. They don’t like us Samaritans.
      Today I get to be looked down on by a Jew.
      Like being despised by my own people isn’t enough.

      I reach the well and let down my bucket. The man turns and looks at me.
      I’m afraid and act like I don’t notice him.
      I’m so thirsty.
      I hurry up my bucket and take a drink.
      I see the man and our eye meet, and yet I am not frightened.
      He looks at me like he knows me. Like we are closer than a brother or father.
      His eyes, are filled with love, real love and hope and light and love!
      He sees me, yet he does not despise me.
      And He says to me, “Please, may I please have a drink?”

Saturday: 42, 43; Ezekiel 39:21-29; Philippians 4:10-20; John 17:20-26
Sunday: 103; Daniel 9:3-10; Hebrews 2:10-18; John 12:44-50

Albany Intercessor


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