Her soul bore scars from relationships gone bad. Who she had become was a result of what she had endured. There seemed to be no escape from her past. There appeared to be no happier moments in the present. There promised to be no better days in the future. Her existence was what it was. She had spent too much of her life ingesting acrid waters until her own wellsprings had become bitter.
That day was like so many others. She had filled her morning tending to the bare necessities. There were no children around who needed her nurturing. No spouse was there who extracted covenantal love. The man who was present had self-serving motives and a distant heart. So, her tasks were mere motions of a passionless life.
She needed to walk to the center of town to draw water from the well, but she waited until most of the other women had finished that job. She did not want to again be the object of either scorn or insincere pleasantries. “If one is going to be alone in the midst of a crowd;” she surmised, “one might just as well be alone.” She gathered her pitcher and walked to Jacob’s Well.
As she drew up the water, she heard the voice of a stranger ask her for a drink. Startled out of her introversion, she noted that a Jewish man was addressing her, a Samaritan woman. Barely would her own people speak to her. She could scarcely comprehend that a Jew, known to be prejudice against her people, would be requesting a drink from her. She asked him how this could be.
He responded, “If you knew me, you would ask me for water.” She had long ago stopped trying to know anyone. Who was this stranger? How could he give her anything?
“You have no pitcher, no way to draw water,” she replied.
“Then I will give you life-giving waters to quench the deepest longings of your heart,” he cryptically responded. “My water will satisfy you now and forevermore.”
Something about the way he spoke to her, the words he used, the manner of his person struck her deepest thirst, which she had long ago tried to squelch. She thought she would never again drink in the promises of another. Yet, before she could stop herself, she cried, “Sir, give me this water!”
Stepping outside of her own self-imposed isolationism, she began a discourse that drew from his reservoir. He had knowledge of her past, understanding of her beliefs, and wisdom of God’s purposes. She drank in his words. She swallowed a rhetoric that was not toxic or poison, but sweet to the taste and satisfying to the soul.
His waters not only satisfied, they refreshed, they healed, they restored. She had come to the well to draw and surely she had drawn. She left her pitcher and ran into the town to pour out the waters she had received.
“Come meet this man,” she gushed to her neighbors. “He told me all he knew of my personal past yet promised me a future free of yesterday’s bitter taste,” she spouted. She wetted their appetite and they followed her to the well where they also drew living water from the Christ, the Son of the Living God. (This story is taken from the fourth chapter of the Gospel of John.)