Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Love and Grace (09/11/14)
- TITLE: Never the Same
By Lois Farrow
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It started off the same as any other day in Sychar where nothing much happens. The men go to work in the vineyards or their own plots of land where they grow food for their families. The women go to the well, or sweep their houses, or whatever needs to be done while the children get in the way underfoot.
Getting water is the hardest daily job for me; I’m not as young and strong as I used to be. My earth ware jar is heavy even when empty, but I heave it up on my shoulder and I manage, even when it is full.
Why do I go at midday? To keep away from the other women, that’s why. I know they’d rather not talk to me. Not that they are all perfect but they despise me, I know, but I don’t really care about their opinion.
Anyway, the other day an odd thing happened. When I went to the well there was a man sitting beside it. The men around here NEVER go near the well! I saw him in the distance at first, and when I got closer I realised he was a Jew. It must have been his clothes or something about the look of him, because I knew, even before he spoke. And then, can you believe it, he asked me for a drink? As if I haven’t enough to do getting water for my own household. But with our tradition of hospitality I wouldn’t refuse him, of course, but I did query him.
“You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan. How can you ask me for a drink?” I asked him. You might think that’s strange, but the Jews don’t usually talk to us. In fact it was strange that he was even here in Sychar, most of the Jews skirt around the area and won’t come near us. So it was surprising that he was sitting at the well, and even more surprising that he talked to me.
But then I got confused! He talked about giving me living water but he had nothing to draw from the well with. We talked about our ancestor, Jacob, and then he talked about springs of water and eternal life and not getting thirsty again. I didn’t have a clue what that was all about!
When he asked me to go get my husband I told him I didn’t have one. Which is true in a way, but I thought he wouldn’t know that. You could have knocked me over when he gave my history – I’m glad no one else was around to hear it. He knew I’d had five husbands, and that I’m not married to my current man! How did he know that?
He told me lots of other things too, about God and worshipping God in spirit and truth. I told him I was waiting for the Messiah to come, and he said I am he! Can you believe it? The Messiah was really here, and talking to me!
Anyway, at that point his followers came back and I took off. I even left my water jar there in my hurry. When I got back to the town I was shouting to everyone I could find, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” Usually people don’t listen to anything I say, but this time they did and soon everyone was heading for the well to find him.
He stayed for a couple of days so we had time to listen to everything he had to say. I know now he is the Messiah. Many people from the town believed in him, including me.
I am so grateful. He knows everything I have ever done, even all the bad stuff, but he doesn’t condemn me. He told me that I, too, can worship God and can be forgiven. Isn’t that just the best news you could hear? I thought I knew a bit about love, but I’d never experienced this before. He accepts me, in spite of all I’ve done.
The town people talk to me now and we all believe that this man is the Messiah and is our deliverer. Life will never be the same again.
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