Reading: John 4:1-30; 39-42
As you sit with the Scripture, imagine the vivid afternoon desert scene. A lone male figure wearied, shoulders slightly slumped sitting by a well and resting quietly. Another lone female figure moves slowly toward the well. She too posturing weariness as she carries a large clay water pot, probably on her head, in the afternoon heat. The man begs a drink of water which begins a conversation that would draw the woman into a living reality of life with God.
- Listen to the exchange between Jesus and the woman. How does the everyday ordinary task of drawing water and the physical reality of human thirst provide the space for a deeper conversation about the condition of the women’s heart and the spiritual reality of the kingdom of God in her midst? How might the ordinary tasks, activities and daily human conditions of your life become the staging for a deeper conversation with God? Where do you notice God in your ordinary everyday life and activities?
- The woman states the well is deep (v.11). She speaks of physical matters. The well of water becomes a metaphor for the deeper issues of her heart that Jesus intends to draw out. If you were sitting with Jesus, what might he want to draw out of your heart with regard your own spiritual thirst or need? Open to the Holy Spirit. Ask for the Spirit to search your heart (Ps. 139:1, 23-24; Rom.8:26-27;). What comes up?
- Jesus says to the women…If you knew the gift of God and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water’(v.10). God waits and longs to be gracious to you, to show mercy to you (Isaiah 30:18). To what degree do you know who it is that is with you and what he longs to give you? What would you like to ask for knowing these things?
- Notice the woman’s response to Jesus as she tells others about him. Can you detect a hint of excitement in her voice as she tells about a man who knows her through and through yet without judgment or shame (v.29)? What would it be like for you to be known, seen, accepted, and given the gift of living water? How would your life be different? How would your day-to-day change? Continue to sit with Jesus as he draws out your deepest longings. Talk to him about the things you see, feel, or the things that need a refreshing touch of the water he offers.
Close your reflective time with God with these words of prayer:
I wait. I pray. Give me strength to endure this Lenten fast and help me with the sneaky temptations I don’t expect. Underneath my hunger (or thirst) the taste of eternity lingers deeper than any satisfaction food (or water) might provide.*
*Adapted from Peter Traben Hass, Centering Prayers.