Despite the fact that there’s still a discussion going on in the comments on the previous post, I’m going to post a short story that I recently wrote. Enjoy, humans!
“Come on, girl, we might as well do it now instead of putting it off anymore,” the woman said to herself. A quick glance at the sky told her it was the sixth hour—high noon. She needn’t have looked at the sun to figure it out; the blazing heat told her that.
The woman sighed, took her water pot, and went outside. Now was the best time to do it, as always. Thanks to her lifestyle, it was far better to go now during the hottest part of the day, to avoid all the gossiping women. She was often the center of their news, especially now, considering she had yet another man living with her. What did she care? The woman cursed under her breath as she got to Jacob’s Well.
“What’s this?” she said as she got closer. A man was sitting at the well. He wasn’t from the small town of Sychar, and most definitely not from Samaria. He was, in fact, a Jew.
She stopped and glared at the man hard, hoping he’d take a hint and move. He probably wouldn’t be expecting it, what with women having to do whatever men said. Ha! Did he think that she would be like all the other weak women who said “Yes, sir,” and obeyed? Never!
“Would you give me some water?” the man said.
The woman looked at him. “Oh really? What are you, a Jew, asking me, a Samaritan, for water? And I’m a woman, in case you didn’t notice?”
The man smiled at her. “You know, if you knew who I am, the tables would be turned.”
“Explain.” She crossed her arms.
“Instead of me asking you for water, you would be asking me for a drink. And if you did, I would give you fresh water. Living water.”
The woman sighed. “In case you didn’t notice, Jew, you don’t have a bucket. And this is well is really deep. Just how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Do you really think you’re better than our great ancestor Jacob? You know, he dug this well, and then he, his sons, and his cattle drank from it too.”
Once more, the man smiled. It wasn’t an overconfident smile, but at the same time, it made the woman bristle. “Whoever drinks from this water will keep coming back, just like you are. But if you drink of my water, you won’t ever be thirsty again. My water will be a never ending bubbling spring that will gush forth life eternal.”
Maybe this is my lucky day, the woman thought to herself. “You know what, Jew? Give me some of this water. That way I won’t have to come back here every day and deal with those idiotic women. Why, they’re al—”
“Bring your husband and come back. Then I will give it to you.”
The woman bit her lip. “I don’t have a husband.”
“Well put, my friend,” the man said. “You have had five husbands, and the guy you’re currently living with isn’t even your husband. So yes, I suppose you haven’t lied.”
The woman cursed under her breath. New subject. Fast. “So you’re a prophet, huh? Then answer this. Our ancestors worshiped God right here at the mountain over there. But you Jews say that the only place for worship is Jerusalem. Which is it?”
“Believe me, woman, that the time is coming when you won’t be worshipping God here or there. Right now, you’re guessing and stumbling around in the dark.”
“Why you lit—”
“I’m not done. The Jews worship what they know. No guessing there. Salvation comes through the Jews. But the time comes—it is here, actually—when there will be no prejudice or bigotry. All will be equal, and the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth.
“You see, the Father wants Spirit-worshipers. What God wants is that you be who he has made you to be. You accept the living water—the Father—and he will mold you into who you will become. As you worship him in spirit and truth, you must be yourself. God himself is Spirit. Through your being, your spirit, your true self, you must adore the Spirit in the spirit. You must adore the Father in truth.”
The Jew—the prophet—stopped talking. The woman felt overwhelmed, and didn’t know what to say. Who was this man? And why was he telling her all this? Finally, she said, “I’m not sure about all that you just said. What I do know is that Messiah is coming. And when he comes, He will make it all clear.”
“I am he,” the man said simply.
“I am Messiah.”
Before she could respond, several men came up to the men. They were dusty and looked tired, as if they’d been traveling all day. Some of them seemed to be from Judea, and some from…hmm, Galilee. Were they with this man? The men stared at her, then back at the prophet who claimed to be the Messiah. All of them had a look of bewilderment on their face. They were no doubt wondering what the prophet was doing talking to a Samaritan, and a woman at that.
“Hey, buddy, you got a problem with me?” she said to the one who seemed ready to say something.
“Uh, Rabbi, do you want something to eat?” one of them said. None of them looked at her.
In a huff, the woman got up and stormed back into town, ready to tell someone what had just happened. She suddenly realized that she’d forgotten her water pot. She swore, then wondered if she should stop cursing so much.
As soon as she got back to town, she told the first person she saw, “You will not believe what just happened!”
The man looked at her, scowled, and walked on. Undaunted, she kept on until she found a group of women working on the dinner meal. “Come, people!” she said. All of them stopped and looked at her before resuming their conversation.
She blew out a breath of air, then slammed her hand hard on the table where they were making bread and yelled, “Will you people just listen to me?!”
All the women quieted down.
“Thank you. As I was saying, I saw a man who knew all about me—inside out! Not only that, he seems to be learned in the ways of God. You must come and see who he is, even if you don’t care about me. Now get up and stop your endless gossiping already!” She walked out and went to tell the others, and before long, many of the townspeople were outside.
By the time she returned to the well, the prophet was telling the people the same things he had told her.
One of the women from town whispered to her, “You know, you were right. This man is who he says he is. He is Messiah. He is our Savior!”
“I know; there was something different about him,” the woman replied, surprised she was talking to one of her “enemies.”
“Thank you. Thank you for telling us about this man. I don’t know what would have happened if you didn’t. And…and I’m sorry for the things we’ve said about you. You truly are a good woman. I didn’t mean what I said.”
“That’s all right; I forgive you too.”
“Indeed. All good.” The woman smiled. What had changed in her? There was already a difference, but she didn’t know what. The man, the Jew, the prophet—he was Messiah. And his living water, his eternal water, would never let her be the same again. She was new. She was changed.
“Prophet?” the woman said when he stopped talking. “What is your name?”
“Jesus,” he replied. “Jesus Christ.”
And that’s all for now, folks. Thanks for taking time to stop in this corner of the interwebz for a few minutes. I heart you. Have an awesome day!
Less than three,
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. –John 15:12-13