In fact, it is very easy to be in such a mess that all we perceive is our troubles and the world is happy to replay our self-judging and insecurities to keep us thoroughly focused on our own feelings, fears and foibles. So in today's reading Jesus distracts this distressed woman by asking her to consider that there may be another way. He is so effective she runs back to town to share with her neighbors what has happened to her.
I have read and heard various speculation about her back story, but as usual, the Bible tells us enough. We know her life had challenges and Christ acknowledged those challenges without judging the person and as a role model Jesus preached US a powerful sermon by that act. But the point of our preacher this morning was this: this woman had had enough challenges to be ready to consider something new.
Often folks ask, "Why do I have to experience this challenge (or for hard-heads like me, challenges)?" And I believe the clue to this lays in the experiences of this person. I believe we face challenges until we finally understand that WE ARE NOT IN CHARGE. No one, no how, no where does the little human bein' that I am have all the answers, enough strength, sufficient patience, ample love, adequate capacity to keep out of trouble and sometimes our strong wills and personal abilities, education, skills or gifts keep us trying, trying, trying until finally we begin to think there may be something else, something more.
Some of us were blessed by contact with kind, wise, servants who inspire us to explore the possibility that there may be an answer in our relationship with God. Other folks have had no or casual contact with people of faith and the most tragic have been wounded by the brokenness of someone flouting their Christian faith, leaving a scar that is slow to heal. But, however we come to a point of longing for more, or as my preacher so elegantly said, "So very thirsty for more than we are" -- finally willing to consider a conversation with God, to explore what a relationship with God might mean.
So when we are feeling broken, lonely, sad, despairing, frustrated or empty, we are not worthless, unworthy, barren, unimportant, frustrated or any of the other things we might feel. My friend, we have just finally come to a place in the road where the distractions of the world become dulled and something new is able to whisper a new hope to us.
Are you ready to consider something new?
* John 4:5-42