I’m so tired of talking about the virus. Can we talk about something else today? Let me tell you a story. This is a story of deep meaning, real purpose and cherished value. I pray it impacts your soul as deeply as it impacted the woman in our story.
Jesus and His friends are making their way to Galilee. The path He chose to get there led them through the tough side of town. In the middle of the toughest part they stopped for lunch. You think He knew what He was doing? Something tells me Jesus was right where He wanted to be. It was there, where no self-respecting Jew would have been found dead, that Jesus met her.
This particular woman had quite a story for her day. We aren’t told how many kids she had. We just know her husbands numbered five and the man she was living with she wasn’t married to. None of these things scared Jesus. Her past did not make her unapproachable to Him. He had no disdain for her, and she did not seem to brush Him off as too religious or judgmental. As they talked, a real friendship developed. The longer they talked, the more her life began to change.
Jesus asked the lady for water. They were sitting at a well. That one question ballooned into a long conversation. They talked about cultural standards, why worship matters and they finally made their way around to the coming Messiah. It was that last topic that gripped her heart. When Jesus told her He was the One she and her people had been waiting for, her heart melted. Suddenly all her past guilt and pain didn’t matter quite as much.
We don’t have any more of their conversation. All we know is the next time we see her she is running from house to house in her village begging everyone to “Come and see the man who told me everything I ever did!” What did Jesus say to this woman to give her this new heart? Simply put, He told her He loved her.
Sunday is Mother’s Day. Moms all over the world cherish this day because all those who matter to them take the time to look at them, listen to them, wait for them and tell them just what they mean to them. To all those moms I say, “Enjoy!” Other very blessed moms put less emphasis on this one day because they have people who let them know on a regular basis how much they love them. I hope this group knows how truly blessed they are. Then there is the large group of mothers who never ever hear a word of gratitude on this special day or otherwise. They live their lives thanklessly. No one is perfect and they are fully aware of the mistakes they have made. They live with the reality of these mistakes on a daily basis and are constantly reminded of their seeming inability to gain any positive foothold in their role as a mom. It is to these moms I am really writing today. If you are not a part of this final group please thank God for the position and family you have been given and then take a moment to pray for a mother near you that you know is not nearly as blessed as you are. If you are a member of the forgotten league of mothers please listen to these few words I have to say to you.
You are loved. Your life has profound meaning. You are cherished. Do not give up yet. There is hope.
Even as I write these words I realize they must seem like a very small drop in a sea of forgetfulness. The thing that makes these words take shape and meaning is that they do not come from me. It was not me who met the woman at the well in Samaria. It was Jesus. It was not me who offered her living water. I don’t have a well that deep. Jesus is the One who walked all the way across her country just to meet with her. Jesus is the One who knew her past and waited at the well to talk to her anyway. Jesus is the One who patiently made conversation with her even as she showed her pain and frustration with the Jews, even as she tried to avoid His painful probing into her life. Jesus is the One who looked her and YOU in the eye to speak of His never stopping, never giving up love.
This is not the kind of love where He kisses her and asks to take her to the movies. This love doesn’t sit around for hours pondering what He smells like and what His favorite food is like. This love is a love that only God can offer. It reaches down into the heart, way past the guilt and the shame we carry with so much effort and touches us where we long to be seen and held. It offers to stick by us when everyone else walks away and never, ever hurts us or abandons us. This love is full of kindness, gentleness, compassion and justice. It fights for us and keeps us safe. This is the love we were made to enjoy. Even the other two groups of moms cannot find this kind of love in their families or husbands. The best case scenario on earth doesn’t hold a candle to the love Jesus has for you. Will you let Him love you like He loves the woman at the well?
John tells us that many in her village believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony about Him. Will you trust Jesus enough to love others through you? What are you waiting for? Jesus has made His way to you. He is waiting right now for you to come to Him. Will you go? Will you let Him love you?