So, okay. I know I should be writing Christmas blogs. I realize this is - oddly - timed. But the other day I saw a preview for this new show airing on NBC entitled Identity. I was strangely captivated....
I was so taken, in fact, that I had a dream last night about this woman. It played out in my dream like a sort of identity game... like I was supposed to guess who she was. Really weird, huh? I wish I could have recorded my dream so you see it, too. It was incredible, as dreams go.
So here's the deal. I'm writing identity blogs, apparently. And I'll bet you'll guess who these people are before I did.
Happy reading! - Brin
Who am I? That's difficult to say. Perhaps I should start at the beginning. But where, exactly, does a beginning begin? My birth was not the commencement of my life. Not the life I now know. I suppose that for me – for my story – it begins here:
Same place. Different day.
Do I come here often? Yeah. I do. I come here every day for a drink. Not to sound melodramatic, but it’s called for – coming here and all. My life isn’t terrible, yet it isn’t especially remarkable. It’s life, or what I’ve made of it, anyway. So I’m here again. Same place. Different day.
I wait my turn. It’s not so busy today. I wish it were. There’s anonymity in numbers, and I find relief in the swallowing effect of a crowd. The regulars here can be shamelessly nosey, and I tire of their knowing glances – their tacky, judgmental stares. As if they are living perfect lives. I don’t think people grant allowances for the fact that life smiles on some, ignores most, and preys on a few.
And I’m among the few. Undoubtedly so. I’ve lived my share of failed marriages and messy relationships. Life doesn’t care. My heart seems to be in the right place, but ultimately, that never matters, does it? Men have their way and then go about them. Take this guy I’m living with now. He’s assuring but unsure. Solid but uncommittal. Present but neglectful. And me? I’m lonely. I’m lonely but I stay. Wouldn’t dare leave. Everyone knows how hard it is for a woman – even in this day and age - to make a good life for herself. No, I’m lonely, not stupid. I’ll stay.
Ah, my turn. Finally. It isn’t until I step up to retrieve my drink that I notice him. That man. Over there. See him? He’s not familiar. In fact, it occurs to me that he’s not from around here. He’s one of those type men who wouldn’t dare show himself at a place like this, you know? Wonder what he’s doing… hanging around.
I don’t wonder long. He approaches me slowly. Calmly. “Will you get me a drink?” he asks.
Oh, please. Figures. I don’t even look up. Not today. “From all appearances, you’re not from around here,” I say sarcastically. I can’t believe he’s hitting me up for a drink. Me, of all people.
He begins to talk… something about how I should know who he is and how I should be the one asking for a drink. Wow. Men. I reply as politely as I can and turn to leave.
Over my shoulder, I hear his voice. Apparently this man is determined to have a conversation. I refuse to look at him as he gestures toward my drink and persists with his barely coherent nonsense. Now he’s talking about how, if I asked him for a drink, he could give me something… some magical, living stuff, I suppose… that could take care of my thirst and make me live forever. Yeah. Hmm. If he's looking for money he picked the wrong girl. I close my eyes and wish there was somewhere else – anywhere else - to grab a drink in this town. I think I feel a headache coming on.
I hear myself say, “Okay, sir. Give me what you’ve got. Give me this… stuff… so I won’t have to keep coming here.”
The man doesn’t flinch. I feel him looking at me. I stare at my hands. “Go,” he says. “Get your husband and come back.”
Oh? Oh, really? Is this a joke? My cheeks burn. Someone around here got this stranger to pull one over on me. I’m done. I’m more embarrassed than angry when I shoot back, “I have no husband.”
“You’re right,” he says. “You have no husband. In fact, you’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re with now is not even your husband. You’re right.”
Time stops. His words hang in the air for what feels like an eternity. I feel myself exhale, and realize I must have been holding my breath. His words… this man’s words… it wasn’t what he said, but how he said it. It wasn’t accusatory. It wasn’t condemning. It was just… he just said it so… knowingly. So easily.
“Look,” I say slowly, evenly, still refusing to look his way. “It’s obvious you’re some kind of … prophet, or something….” My insides are screaming. How did he know? How could he? I'd gone to great lengths to ensure no one around here knew I was on future husband number six....
If he can read my thoughts, he doesn’t let on. If he’s a prophet, he doesn’t say. Instead, he tells me the things I know – the ways people around here do things - will change. I stand up straighter when he mentions God. I listen as he says that someday people will worship God in “spirit and truth”.
Oh. Okay. I get it now. For the first time, I turn to make eye contact. “Hey, I've heard this. I know that when this Messiah comes He will explain everything….”. I stop suddenly as our eyes lock.
“I am He,” He says.
I can’t look away. That look. Those eyes. Even as His words reach me, I know. It’s Him. He’s the One. The One for me. That look in His eyes… it’s as if He’s known me all along and loved me forever….
A tingle plays on the back of my neck before rushing to my toes. I can’t look away. I choke on a sob. This Man before me is no man. No man at all. Tears drip from my chin to the dirt between us as I realize I’m face to face with the Lover of my soul. And I want to tell Him. I want to tell Him that I’ve looked so hard… so long… for Him. I open my mouth to speak but have forgotten words. It doesn’t matter. None of it matters. Those eyes. He knows. He knows, and yet He found me. He found me here. The Christ… the Messiah… He found me....
Same place, very different day.
It wasn’t until that night that I realized I left my water jar behind. It wasn’t until the next week, as I continued retelling my story, that I began to shake – physically shake - at the remembrance of His promises. And it likely won’t be until eternity – if even then - that I’ll grasp the magnitude of the power and majesty of the Man I encountered that day.
I still come here. Every day. Some mornings I run, hoping He’ll be here, asking for a drink. Sometimes I wait here, hoping He’ll show up with that same knowing look in His eyes. Until then, you can find me here, telling my story.
And really, now that I tell you all this, I guess it’s not all that difficult to pinpoint where my beginning began. My birth was not the commencement of my life. My story begins with that day at the well. The day I met the One who told me everything I ever did. The day I met Jesus.
Who am I? My name’s not that important. But the day I met Jesus is. I suppose that’s why I’m the woman generations of Christians will simply come to know as “the woman at the well”.
Read my story in John 4.