Archive for March 12th, 2023

It is the familiar, the simple that I and those of us grieving, miss the most.

A moment when we wanted to send a text. A memory that only they would share. A feeling in our soul that they are in the room …

sigh … the shared intimacy of knowing and being known goes with our loved ones.

She came to the well, at noon.

That seems an odd time of day to fetch water from the well … the hottest time of day.

Maybe she was too busy earlier in the day. Maybe she used up the water she had gathered earlier. Or maybe … maybe she was trying to avoid the eyes and whispers of the busybodies in the town.

So, he (Jesus) asks her to draw water for him,
but he is really trying to draw her to him.

He tells her what she already knows … about her life.

Those busybodies that she may have wanted to avoid, would also have known her story, her sins. But, there is a difference in how Jesus dealt with this knowledge of her, he knew of her sins, but he didn’t shun her because of them.

Instead, he pursued her, engaged with her, offering to her living water, offering life to her through his love.

The woman left the well, left her water jug … because her greatest thirst was met in knowing she was fully known and loved by Jesus.

She took his knowledge of her as she went into town, telling whoever would listen, that “He told me everything I ever did.” And many Samaritans believed in Him too.

don’t we all want to be known and loved
in spite of it all?

What the woman attained that day at the well was the intimacy of love.

Not the sexual intimacy between lovers, which can be present in the absence of love.

This intimacy of love is only found in being known, being seen, not for outward appearance, or for what we have accomplished (or failed at accomplishing).

This intimacy, this expression of gentleness, grace and love is the model Jesus gives us. Yes, we need to see and acknowledge sin, but he loved this woman knowing her sin, he offered his love to her even before she ever ‘accepted’ what he offered. As a matter-of-fact, this account never once indicates that she repented of sins (though she did not deny that what Jesus told about her).

This woman received the gift of being known by Jesus and she shared it with others. This sharing or evangelizing of her intimate experience with Jesus came out of his intimate love for her … even in the midst of her messy life.

In Jesus we find that

we were loved
we are loved
we will be loved

I think this is where grief is the biggest struggle, for though we were loved by the one we grieve, there is no longer a present or future source of that lost love. It is the finality of death, the permanence of their absence that leaves us breathless.

For me, it is little things that I hold on to. Words in a farewell text, inscription on a gifted keychain, beauty in the sky, photos that all of a sudden have life because they were taken ‘live’ … these are the thinning threads of life that I (we) hold with iron fisted grip. These are the things that remind us of the intimacy and love we shared with our loved ones.

Lent is a season that leads us to death, but prepares us for life. Life that includes a deep intimacy with the one whose death was in our place. He knew what we needed most and he loved us to the cross.

Isn’t it odd
We can only see our outsides,
but nearly everything happens on the inside’
– Charlie Mackesy


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