There’s a girl at the well. Any Jewish person would crack a knowing smile – because perched on the horizon is romance. Think of all the encounters at a well that resulted in betrothal – Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Moses and Zipporah. Consider this an Old Testament meme. Around a well people meet up and marry.
Wells were also an essential part of life in arid lands. People would journey to wells to water their livestock. Sojourners sought out wells to refresh their camels. Women swayed with vessels hoisted high, walking to the well for water to meet domestic needs. You can imagine everyone taking a long drink, quenching a shared thirst. At home or on a journey, regardless of gender, wells were central to life.
Jesus found a well in Samaria when He was traveling through to Jerusalem. A woman was already there. (You’d be forgiven if your first thought went to a budding romance, given the precedence!) He asked for the favor of some drawn water; even Jesus gets thirsty. A stunning conversation between Jesus and the woman unfolded. She was fully seen* and accepted. Her thirst for dignity, for visibility and for connection satiated by Living Water on offer from the source Himself.
Jesus sat well-side, but so did she. Jesus revealed Himself to be the well overflowing with life-giving water for parched souls. It didn’t take her long to run, to hurry, leaving her vessel behind so she could share the good news across town. Other souls were thirsty and she could lead them to a well!
A well became a place of catalytic connection.