The WomAn at the Well
How often do you find yourself as one of the women at the well?
Not the womAn. The womEn.
The women who met up daily to gossip. The women who so easily outcast others. The women who were so very quick to judge. The women who fostered an environment of uneasiness.
How often do you find yourself purposely avoiding getting to know someone, because of a preconceived judgement, based upon the opinions of others?
How often do you find yourself "going along" with a circle of gossip, instead of putting an end to it, right then and there, or even walking away?
You see, the woman at the well had a reputation. And, it wasn't a pretty one. In fact, she felt so completely outcast and judged, that she purposely journeyed to the well under the steamy, sultry midday sun, just so she didn't have to feel even further ostracized by the other women.
Yet, never in her wildest dreams, do I imagine the woman expecting to run into anyone the day she did, most especially Jesus Himself; Who not only "broke the rules" and spoke to a Samaritan woman, but Who also requested water from her.
Astonished and flabbergasted, she meekly obliged, understanding her less-than-stellar status. But Jesus? He didn't stop there, He continued to break through the barriers and continued to converse with her.
And while talking, candidly, Jesus used the water as a metaphor to teach this Samaritan woman. He spoke to her about the "living water"; which provides God's divine grade, and eternal life; His spirit within our souls. Through the conversation, the woman comes to realize, she must first confess her sins and strive to change her life, before she can obtain this "living water" of God's eternal grace and life-everlasting.
The story of the woman at the well is a very well-known Bible story, but more than the beautiful exchange and acceptance we witness between Jesus and the Samaritan, there is also an underlying lesson that is all-too-often overlooked: our human tendencies to judge others.
Women, most especially.
Letting the worldly desires to "fit in" come before any spiritual desire to live as closely as possible to how Jesus did, treating everyone as individual hearts and souls; accepting them with care, compassion, empathy and love.
Wouldn’t it be something, sweet sisters? If instead of gathering as did the women at the well to gossip and unfairly judge one another, we looked out for one another, and got to know one another, just as Jesus did with the outcast woman?
Wouldn't it be something? It's not going to be easy, but wow, if we banded together, just how much power we could swipe away from the one who loves to bring us down. Especially through judgment, gossip and leaving others out, just to fit in.
And instead, placed that power and hope straight back into the unconditionally loving arms of the One Who handcrafted us to be amazing, just as we are.
How often, precious sisters?
How often do you dismiss certain people? As lost causes? As "less worthy"? As not fit to get to know?
And then, also how often?
Do you look at an individual daughter of Christ, and realize her value is just as priceless as yours? Valuable in her own right? Worthy of our love and compassion; just as Jesus finds each-and-every one of us worthy.
It's so very easy to judge a book by her cover. But, it takes intentional effort to open her book and read her God-given story.
Let's make a vow to be so much more intentional.