Sunday, October 8, 2017


Recently a poem of mine was critiqued by an experienced poet.  It was exciting to have him read my words and offer suggestions.  But it was an offhand remark he made that prompted me essentially to rewrite my poem.  He asked me, "Is this a true story?"  I thought most educated Americans would have heard about the woman at the well; I was wrong.  So here is a true story with a little updated language of an encounter with Jesus from the woman's point of view.

(Revised October 15, 2017)

First off, I should tell you that Jesus had no business
talking to me, even if it was just asking for a drink.
I knew he was a Jew and Jews are mighty particular
about who they do business with.  I, being a woman
and an outcast, was twice condemned by society most
especially the good women in the village who ostracized me.
This is why Jesus found me at the well at high Noon.
It was easier to deal with the hot sun than to feel the
cold stares of the righteous women from the village. 
I needed water and that’s where Jesus found me.

So did Jesus, it turned out.  He asked me for some.
I was so surprised that He even spoke to me, I asked
“Why was he, a Jew, speaking to me? Wouldn’t he contaminate
himself if he took a drink from my dipper?  Then he said
the strangest thing. It wasn’t just what he said—it was those
eyes: brown lasers of mercy.  He said: “If I knew who it was who
was asking me for water, I could ask Him for living water!”  
I knew we had moved from talking about a drink at the well.
Jesus somehow was offering me a gift.  I tried to talk theology
with him, maybe to divert him, I don’t know—it didn’t work.

So I asked him for this water. Wouldn’t you know, He told me
to go get my husband. I told him that I had none but He knew about
my five husbands and he also knew about the one who was
living with me who was not my husband.  I said I knew
that the Messiah was coming and He would explain all this to us. 
And then He looked at me and said,
“I, the one speaking to you right now, I am He.”
I dropped my water jar and ran all the way back to town. 
That’s the day I ceased being an outcast.  That living water?
It was like a soft spring rain that washed away my sins.

Jesus had mercy on me; He became my life, my source of joy, 
bubbling up from within me.  They call Him the Savior of the world;
I guess He is. I know He rescued me. I sent the man away.  I will
never be that desperate, thirsty woman again.  And when I find
someone like I used to be:  lonely, ashamed, thirsting for a drink
of living water, I take them to my Jesus.

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