Friday, October 9, 2009

The Woman without a name.

She was an outcast half breed, shunned, despised...the lowest of the low. She'd given up trying to belong...well, for the most part. To avoid abuse and insults, she did outside chores in as much anonymity as possible.  The household needed water, but she waited until others left the city well.  One man remained, but she could wait no longer. With eyes down, she made the approach. 
Little did she know her destiny was about to change.
"Give me a drink."
Her head flew up and their eyes met. "How is that you being a Jew would ask me a Samaritan woman for a drink?" This had never happened. She looked around to see if anyone had heard the exchange. Severe punishment might await.
He told her that if she only knew who spoke to her, she could receive "living water."
"But sir, you have nothing to draw water, and where would you get this 'living water anyway.'" Perplexed, both hands went to her hips.
He told her that ordinary water only quenches for a little while, but the water that he could give  would bring everlasting life.
She couldn't take her eyes from his.  "Sir," she whispered, "I want this water you offer."
He then  said something strange. "Go, call your husband, and come here."
Her face burned with shame. "I have no husband."
Then the stranger, the Jew with unearthly kindness, looked into her soul  and spoke of the hidden things. How could this  possibly be?
Was he a prophet? Could he be the Messiah? "I who speak to you are He."
One encounter with the Messiah changed the woman with no name from despised and rejected to respected daughter of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
But why does the Bible leave out her name? I've thought about this a lot lately and I believe this: The Samaritan woman represents all women. Each of us has a need or a longing to be loved for who we are, to be accepted as a person of value. It's built in to us, one of our basic soul needs.
In all my years of counseling at the Pregnancy Resource Centers, there has been one ongoing theme: Looking for love in all the wrong places. That's what the Samaritan woman had done...marrying five times and living with a man. Yet still she thirsted, substituting sex for love. Our love requirements can never be filled by anything or anyone other than the love that Jesus offers us.
I'm so happy I know that and ever so grateful to have accepted the drink offering of the Messiah.
Signed, Sharon Bernash Smith, Princess

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