Going back to the well ... part 1
In my previous post I mentioned a difference between KNOWING JESUS and KNOWING ABOUT JESUS.
Maybe some of you have understood this difference for years. Jesus is already your BFF. You hang out with Him daily (not just at mass), and you check in with Him as you make big decisions (Do I make this career change?) and little ones (How should I respond to this person who bothers the @#&% out of me?!).
Maybe you’re aware others have this close relationship with Jesus, but you don’t have it. You want it. But you aren’t sure how to get it.
Perhaps this whole concept is foreign to you - as it was to me just a few years ago. But you find it intriguing. You’re curious. Interested.
Or maybe you’re reading this, and you again think, "Jen's crazy!" (It was one thing when she started this blog, but now she’s really lost it!) Don’t schedule a psych consult just yet. I understand. Before my relatively recent “reversion” I would have thought the same thing about myself.
So how did Jesus go from being someone I learned about in religion class to my early morning coffee date?? As with any relationship you get to know someone by spending time with them. You really learn about them. But I’ve come to realize that’s actually not the first step. The very first step is quite simple. You see them. You acknowledge them. You meet them. So how did I really meet Jesus?
As I was thinking about this, I was repeatedly drawn back to the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. (John 4:4-26) As I read this story slowly, again and again, Jesus pointed out a few similarities between her story and mine…
As the story begins we see that Jesus was tired so he sat and rested by the well (HOLD UP!! Did you read that???? Jesus felt TIRED so he ALLOWED HIMSELF TO REST! Y’all!!!! For as long as I can remember I have added more and more to my “To Do” list - ignoring my own exhaustion - as I was convinced I was the only person who could do everything correctly. If I’m honest, I often wasn’t even enjoying the “fun” things on my list because I was too busy thinking of everything else I had piled onto my list. Now clearly Jesus really was the only one who could do HIS job, and HE still took time to rest. This is a pattern that, with Jesus’s help, I’ve been working to change these last couple of years. Sometimes I still slip into my old ways, though. Perhaps I should sit with this part of the story a little longer. Or perhaps this is a post for another day…😉)
Where was I?
Oh yes… Jesus is resting at the well. In Samaria. (don’t miss that significant detail) We know Jesus was Jewish, and Jews and Samaritans did NOT have a good relationship. In fact, Jews typically went well OUT OF THEIR WAY to avoid traveling through Samaria so they wouldn’t be contaminated.
But not Jesus.
He traveled straight through Samaria. To the well. Now since Jesus doesn’t do things accidentally, I can only believe that He went there to meet the Samaritan woman. We're told in John 4:4 “he had to go through Samaria." This meeting was intentional.
He met her WHERE SHE WAS. At the well, doing a routine chore she’d likely done every day for years.
Just as he met me WHERE I WAS. Participating in my evening “screen time” as I read someone else’s blog post.
We also learn that the Samaritan woman had a rocky past. Jesus informs her (and us) that she has been married five times and is currently with a man who is not her husband. In other words, this woman IS. NOT. PERFECT. Considering her past and current relationships, I suspect she’s made choices she’s not proud of. She's likely not without mistakes. Or sin.
But Jesus still went to her. Intentionally. He met her IN her brokenness. IN her sin. IN her messed up world. She didn’t have to become perfect for Jesus to want to meet her. She didn’t have to pretend everything in her life was okay when they spoke. (he already knew things weren’t okay) And we don’t have to be perfect or pretend either.
In His eyes, she was still worth meeting. So was I. And so are you.
I know that just as Jesus broke into the Samaritan woman’s life ... in a setting that was unexpected ... at a time she had not planned, He does the same for us. He meets us where we are. In OUR brokenness. In OUR sin. In OUR messed up world. We don’t need to be perfect for him to want to meet us. We don’t need to first get our life in order. His intent is always to meet us.
Honestly, He’s with us every day.
The only question is, do WE acknowledge Him?
BEFORE a crisis occurs, will we turn to Him?
If he DOESN’T perform a miracle, will we choose to see Him?
My prayer today is that your eyes will be opened and you will see Him. You will turn to Him. And acknowledge Him. And really meet Him. And of course, that He'll breathe life into these words.