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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: Refreshed
By Tracy Baird


Heading to the well
I wished I had a servant girl
With the balance and strength
To complete this task quickly
But I knew these thoughts were
Just thoughts
I would never have a servant girl at all

Up and down
The well trodden path to Jacobís well
Today at the sixth hour
Hot in the noonday sun
My throat and spirit
My mouth dry
As in a barren land where there is no water
My soul cracked and arid
I hoped to see no one
The womenís quiet whispers
Shamed me

I thought for a moment
About my lover, hard at work
Laboring in green fields
Toiling in the field of another
I prayed he would find rest this night
A worker sleeps well
But one with a burdened heart
Carries his worries deep into the night

Arriving at the well
A few women ahead
I waited my turn
Then up and down
The bucket filling
Upended time and again
To fill my vessel

A man with compassion in his eyes
Asked me for a drink
But you are a Jew
And I, a Samaritan woman
I said to him

If you knew the gift of God
And who it is
Who asks this of you
You would ask for living water
And never thirst again

Sir, you have nothing to draw with
And the well is deep
So how do you judge yourself able
To offer a me drink?

You drink this water, he said
Clear and sweet
And yet thirst again
The water I give is like a spring
Within your soul
Living water welling up to life eternal

I want this water, Sir
Bring your husband, he said
And I will tell you both
Glancing down, I said quietly
I have no husband

Quite true
You have answered correctly
Five husbands
And the one you live with now
Is not yours

Sir, I can see you are a prophet
telling me everything I have ever done

I thought for a moment
then asked a question
I had pondered many times
Shall we worship
On the mountain as my ancestors said
Or in Jerusalem?
And I wondered
Would you deem me fit to call upon your God?

His answer surprised me

Not where, but how
The time is coming
When the Father will be worshipped
In spirit and in truth

I thought about this
Then said
I know that the Messiah is coming
And when he comes
He will tell us all that we should do

I, said the man with love in his eyes
I who speak to you am He

Filled with joy
Leaving my vessel I ran
Up to Sychar
Down the path to the marketplace
Then even further on to the green fields
Telling of the Messiah
Worshiping even as I ran
I had no well water
But I, with soul cracked and weary
Found myself refreshed
By the life-giving, soul-quenching
Water of life

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This article has been read 370 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 04/10/09
Lovely free-verse retelling of the story of the woman at the well. I like it!
Yvonne Blake 04/13/09
What a miracle in this story!
God knows how to touch our deepest secrets to bring us to Himself.
Thank you for writing this.
Deborah Porter 04/24/09
Hi Tracy. I'm a week late, but wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, "Refreshed," actually did very well in the Up and Down Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 1, placing 8th in that Level. There were a lot of entries for this topic, and competition in Level 1 is always very intense, so well done.

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

Again, well done! :-)

Hope to see you at the FaithWriters' Conference in August.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)