Her bare feet felt the hot stony path as the Samaritan woman carried the empty vessel upon her shoulders. It was noon and she traveled under the burning sun, so as not to be among a tongue wagging crowd. As she walked, she thought upon her life. She remembered the men that had come in and out of it. She married five, but presently she lived with a man without benefit of marriage. This woman being aware that she was living in sin wondered upon the meaning of her life. She being an outcast and despised by the Jews, lived a lonely and purposeless existence.
The jug carried on her shoulder was old, drab, and empty, just like her life. Her goal on that particular day was to get the vessel filled with water at Jacob’s well. The water was needed to sustain her and the man through to the next day.
Arriving at the well about the sixth hour, the Samaritan lowered the jug from her shoulder and sat it beside the well. Wearied and hot from her travel she took a few moments to rest. It was then that she noticed the Jewish man called Jesus sitting by the well. He had traveled from Judea and was passing through Sychar, a city of Samaria, on His way to Galilee.
Not expecting the man to speak to her, as Jews did not associate with Samaritans, the woman was surprised to hear the Jewish man ask her for a drink of water. And so she asked Him, why do you ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?
He answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ He would have given you living water.” (NKJV)
Now the woman made note that the man did not have anything with Him to draw water and the well was deep. So she asked of Him, where did He get the living water?
He told her how that after drinking from the well, one would thirst again, but that after drinking the water that He would give would never thirst again. The water that He would give would give everlasting life.
Hearing His words, the woman asked Him to give her the water, so that she would not thirst again. At those words, He asked her to bring to him her husband. She replied that she did not have a husband.
Jesus responded that He also had knowledge of her previous five marriages, revealing to the woman that He was a Prophet.
The woman told Jesus that she had knowledge of the One, called Christ, who would be coming to tell all things. And Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (NKJV)
The woman left her water vessel at the well, and returned to the city. There she told her account of meeting the man at Jacob’s well, who knew of her past life, and talked of living water. She presented to them the question, could this be Christ.
Hearing this they went out of the city and came to Him.
The woman who had walked to Jacob’s well, had returned without her pot filled with water, and had instead drank the living water and received grace. The woman was delivered of her sins and returned to her city to tell others of the man who told of living water that promised everlasting life. She led them to the man called Christ. After a lifetime of sin, in less than 24 hours, she had arrived at her destiny filled with purpose. Her life was never to be the same. Her man she lived with would have to be turned away, giving her a new life and a new song in her heart.
In the present day, I write this my vision of what happened to the Samaritan woman at the well. I see her and feel her feet as they walk the hot stony path. I imagine how the heat must have felt like the shame that tinted her face red and how the stones were like the rocky sin filled road of her life. Then I feel her joy and relief when she meets Christ and is given deliverance of her sins with all the love and compassion that only our Lord can give.
This is my story of a woman in bare feet, or redemptive love, or the woman at the well.
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