John chapter 4, verses 1-8 – Jesus meets a Samaritan Woman at a Well
This is a story which is going to unfold over the next few days, and it begins like this…
There is someone there! She can’t quite make out the figure under the tree, but someone is certainly there. The midday heat shimmers and makes it even harder to determine who this person is, but she slows down… This well is half a mile outside town. There is one closer, but she never goes there anymore. Not since…
She pushes the unpleasant thought away and steels herself for the encounter with whomever it might be. She just needs to get enough water for the rest of the day. What is anyone in their right mind doing outside in the midday heat anyway? She was convinced she wouldn’t meet anyone.
As she gets closer, it is clear that it’s a man. He seems tired, almost slouching in the dappled shade of the tree. His face is turned towards her, however. It is as if he’s been expecting her. Her eyes narrow. What does he want?
“Will you give me a drink of water?” The question seems simple, but she knows it’s a question that should never have been asked in the first place. Not by a man, however exhausted and parched he does look. Not by a man all on his own of a woman, all on her own, with no one to ensure her honour, his chivalry, their social distancing. This is a simple question which simply cannot be asked here at this moment by him of her. It’s not the done thing.
But as she looks around, knowing that there are no other people around, still searching the naked landscape for his companions, if indeed he has any, he is smiling a tired request. He may be a man, but he is still human, and it is obvious to her that he is thirsty.
She thinks for a moment.
(To be continued)