She was loathed, and also lonely, marginalized, and excluded. The other women in town didn't talk to her, so that her taint wouldn't infect them. There were cliques, all right, and she was definitely not part of any of them. She wasn't invited to baby showers or to weddings or to sewing circles. She wasn't even welcome at the well, at dusk when the other women went to draw in the cool of the day. The looks...the turned backs... the whispers. Once, even that fight when they said those nasty things. She never went back.
She'd rather walk the extra half mile to the further well, at noon, in the heat, than face those women again. Sometimes she hated them for their calling out of her sin, other times she just felt ashamed. My life will always be like this, she thought. Her reputation preceded her. She was known as a harlot and she always would be. Harlot, whore, prostitute, she'd heard them all. She was trapped in her town, in bondage to her sin, encased in her reputation, living out her days with a man she could barely tolerate, in an ever tightening circle of despair and self-loathing, no hope.
Shifting her water jug to the other shoulder, she shrugged. To hell with them, she thought. I don't care about them. At least I've got my man. He's no prize, either, but he's all I've got. What else is there? I can't go to synagogue, I've got no friends, except a few of the other loose women like me. She laughed bitterly.
The well was coming into view. Good, the woman was dusty and hot. It was so hot at noon, but she would rather walk the extra during the height of the day than to see those self-righteous harpies again. Sweat was trickling down her back, mixing with the dust on her neck where she held the jug. Dirt, dirt, dirt...she felt dirty both inside and out.
There was a man sitting there, against the well. He looked hot and dusty too. And tired. He didn't look familiar. Ah, he was was dressed as a Jew, that's why. Strange, Jewish men never walked into Samaria. He was all alone, no servants or anything. As the woman approached the well, the man spoke to her.
"Give me a drink"
Just like that, on a day like all the others, a dull, dreary, regular day, Jesus broke into the woman's life. SALVATION came to a women who had not expected it. Jesus burst in from beyond the veil to pierce the ordinary and make it extraordinary. Going toward the well, she was encased in sin. Sin defined her. Her reputation dripped with depravity and seeped in the very shadows on the stark and dusty road ahead of her. Though the day at noon was bright, her path was dark and hopeless. All she could see for her entire rest of her life were those shadows preceding her feet, one plodding shadow after another, dirt and dust and darkness.
|Waterpots. The International|
Standard Bible Encyclopaedia
Her joy and surprise caused her to leave her waterpot behind. This is a valuable possession. If you don't have a pot to draw water with, you don't have water in your house. Water of course is a necessity, for cooking washing, drinking. Yet the shamed woman approaching the well was no more, she left the well full of living water coursing through her veins, cleansing every spot and wrinkle. Each step back toward the village was a step away from her dark and haunted past and toward a clean and bright renewal. She'd left the pot behind. She left her shame behind, too.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Any ordinary day could be like it was for the Woman at the Well (John 4:1-43). Your mother or husband or boss or friend could walk away from your conversation or head out the driveway or go into the living room and suddenly return a new creation. The walls of their heart holding in sin like the walls of Jericho, tumble down in an instant. Jesus has that power. When He creates a new creation in us sin is flushed away and His righteousness comes. It did for the woman at the well, it has for millions of people ever since.
Pray for the ordinary day to become extraordinary. Pray for the natural woman to become supernatural. Pray for the walls of her or his heart to tumble down and the conscience breached with righteousness. Pray for a gush of His living water to flood your loved one.
"Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did." (John 4:29a)
[And He loves me anyway]
"Could this be the Christ?" (John 4:29b)
[It certainly is.]
The ordinary day was suddenly saturated with joy. Because Jesus came.