Monday, February 21, 2011

From Our Heart Or Our Head

The conversation that Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 is, apparently, the longest single conversation that Jesus had with one person recorded in the New Testament. But she was a woman, not someone Jesus should have been conversing with out on a lonely plain. She was a Samaritan, not someone a Jew would converse with in any location. And her life style was not exemplary. But some of the most significant truths Jesus ever uttered she was chosen to hear, probably one of the times that one human being had the greatest impact on others for their good happened right here in John 4. How amazing!!

I couldn’t get this story out of my mind yesterday. Part way through His discourse with this woman whose name we don’t know, He said, “Go bring your husband.” He didn’t start her on the journey she needed to take by confronting her with the emptiness of her life, not by saying ‘you should’ or ‘you shouldn’t’. - but simply go bring your husband, the husband He knew she did not have.

But she didn’t want to go there. She was so much like us and we are so much like her. If we can discuss a doctrinal question it protects us from the hard stuff - the stuff of dealing with the heart. And so her question to Jesus was (paraphrased) - Who is worshipping in the right place, you Jews or us Samaritans. Jesus responded in such a way that she ran back to her village, to the people she had avoided for so long because of her shame, the people who were likely giggling and ridiculing and said: “Come see a man who told me everything I have ever done. Could this be the Christ?” What kind of humility, what kind of passion must there have been in her voice for her to cause a villageful of people that she had likely no relationship with over the years to want to go with her? I can only imagine!

All of this was on my mind as I made my way to visit at the Nursing Home yesterday, as I visited with these dear folks and for a long time after. What brings peace when one gets to the point where most of life is spent in a room with our own thoughts, when one’s life is spent in that ‘waiting to die’ stage and place. Will it be that one has worshipped in the right place, at the right time in the right way or will it be ‘He told me everything that ever I did’. I think I know! Jesus called it living water!