“Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word.” John 4:39-41
I remember having to put together a sermon years back for a class project and I choose the woman at the well. Such a familiar story, but as I began to study I saw the reality of this scripture. Here was this scene of a scandalous lady with five husbands and a lover to spare, and Jesus calling her out. I had always read it as if I were watching this scene from afar, but that time I read it and realized I was the woman at the well! That my past and present was littered with sin and Jesus came exposing the sin, not to shame me or call me out but to set me free. His intention was not to get her good by airing her dirty laundry, He wanted her to know that He saw all of her , all the dirt and still wanted her to know who He was. Our stories are no different, He wants us to know He sees us all and that it doesn’t scare Him, it doesn’t send Him running or turning in disgust. He knows He has the power to transform it into a life lived for His glory. He can transform our past and do incredible things with our future.
All that was on my mind as we headed to Chichigalpa with the interns to meet a group of women , who were looking for a different way of life. They are tired of what they feel like they have to do in order to survive. We know the name of this profession but it’s something I didn’t even want to associate with them or their identity. As we began to talk they opened about their hurts, their abuse, and what they hoped to do instead. I loved seeing the common ground as women , our hearts hurt the same, and we long for such similar things in the depths of our souls. It was an incredible moment to not see the label of their current profession, but to just see these women, these beautiful women. I think what touches me so deeply about the woman at the well, is that Jesus saw her and saw all of her. Her past and present , combined with her heritage as a Samaritan woman was overwhelming reason for many to keep walking, to not see her. He saw all the more reason. As we talked to these women, they told us how many refused to help them because of their current job , it was said, “Well this is different, because it’s being done in and through the love of Christ.” How very different He is , He doesn’t just stop by chance to reveal himself to those who are cast out, He seeks them out. I was blown away at the ways He weaved His love into the conversations the next couple days, how we’d be discussing jewelry classes and sewing classes and somehow He would show up in the middle of the conversation. In a way that wasn’t forced but so natural, and in such a beautiful natural way the Gospel was laid out. We had the honor of seeing the salvation of one of these beautiful women. I gush over them because the Lord has filled us up with his heart for them and His heart adores them.