The woman said to Jesus, “Sir, you have no bucket.”
This Lent, the gospel of John shows us one-on-one encounters between Jesus and another person. Last week, Nicodemus, a pious leader, the consummate insider. Now, the woman at the well, an outcast among outcasts.
(The timing says it all. In this hot, dry place, everyone went to the well for water in the cool of the morning or evening, not in midday heat, as this woman did.)
As with Nicodemus, misunderstanding and confusion fill this conversation. The woman and Jesus talked past each other.
We might say, Jesus spoke about what is unseen (living water, eternal life), and she responded about what is seen (buckets, this well, relief from hard work). She was on the practical level, and Jesus, the soul level. She was just trying to make a living; Jesus was encouraging her to come alive. The distance between them yawned.
At first. Amazingly, they find each other. The resonances of truth--her honesty, his authentic generosity--light a way through the dark. She reveals and Jesus discovers her deep thirst, her soul level desire.
This became good news for her and her whole community. They invited Jesus to stay, and he stayed--John's keyword for a true and deep connection on the soul level. Which is the very living water Jesus was talking about.
Who invites you to the soul level? Who are you inviting? Ask God to tune the resonances between us, so we can be drawn together and stay in Christ.