Mid-day -- hot, lonely, safe. It's when you go to the well if you are a woman with a reputation. If you go in the cool of the evening, when the other women are there, you may encounter your lover's wife or hear the comments people hiss as you pass or feel the daggers hurled from their eyes. You endure the heat so you do not have to endure the crowd.
But this day, as you approach, you see a man at the well, a thirsty man who asks you for a drink. He looks straight at you, in a way no one has ever done before. He lets you ask your questions. And then he offers you water, living water. To avoid the well forever would be fine with you.
As this stranger tells you things about yourself that you have never revealed to him, you step closer. Somehow he knows you. Is it possible he came to the well today because he knew you'd be there?
This is the thing: we go through life hiding our secrets that everyone knows, yet no one really knows us. We avoid the water cooler, the Bible study, the places where we might be exposed. Our tidy lives belie the pain and hopelessness which are our constant companions.We go to the well at mid-day so as not to be noticed.
And just when we least expect it, He is there. He looks straight at us -- is that love we see in His eyes? He listens to our questions, our confusion, anger and shame. And then He offers us water, living water. Somehow He knows us and everything we ever did.
Just when we least expect it, we find ourselves in the presence of Jesus.
I don't know if you are like that woman, or if someone you know and love is like her -- cloaked in a self-protective veil, hiding in the shadows, lonely, needy, and doomed to remain that way for the rest of your life. Jesus knows who you are, where you are, and how much you long for living water. You may not even know, but He does. And He wants to meet you at the well.
Take hope today for yourself or that person you care about who comes to the well at mid-day. Jesus is already there, and He offers you living water.
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You can read this story in the Bible in John 4:1-42. And if you'd like to see a wonderful monologue based on the story of the Woman at the Well, click here.