In the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen!
O Lord, give me water!
The Samaritan woman sat by the well, with her jar to draw water in broad daylight. Why did she choose to come at midday where the sun is too high and can burn her? When she could draw water in the morning or at night. Couldn't she choose a time where she can come with a company of her neighbors? Only she knows the details. However, it is written that the women "had five husbands, and the man she now has is not her husband" (John 4:18).
It is possible that her self-esteem decreases every time she becomes a wife to another man. As a result of her failed marriages, her heart broke and she becomes bitter towards everything. Many people talk about her failed marriage and her living with someone who is not her husband. Neglecting her pain, people think of her as unworthy, consider her as a prostitute, mock her, ridicule her as being a woman of "five-husbands". Even if they don't tell her openly, some offend her through their action and indirect words. Thus, she chose to be by herself than with a company. This woman who had lost hope went into the desert to draw water, preferred to be burnt by the sun's heat rather than deal with people's harsh words.
"Now he had to go through Samaria." Indeed, the route would require passing through Samaria to go from Judea to Galilee. But this wasn't the only reason for Christ to go through Samaria. He is the savior who came down in search of the lost soul; He had to go in search of a soul that was burning with the heat of the sun. The hope of people went to find the desperate woman who needed saving.
Jesus asked her to give him water to drink, as Abba Giyorgis said: "When you are living water, you begged water from a Samaritan woman." He was not thirsty for water but of her soul.
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” When it comes to race, even the wounded soul would like to discuss it. How did asking for water turned into a race conversation? Is the water Jewish? Or Samaritan? Anyone thirsty should not be asked his/her descendants, instead that person deserves water. But the woman asked him. This Samaritan woman asked this question before she knew it was Christ. But after knowing that He was Christ, she did not talk about Judaism and Samaritans. Similarly, the country is oppressed by people with such questions, in fact these people ask such questions knowing who Christ is (they are Christians, Which makes it even more heartbreaking truth to witness). They ask you are this and I am that then how do you ask water from me? How sad is it that we die as Christians without living like Christians or practicing Christian life?
Our Lord discarded from hearing the woman's racial question, then said unto her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water”(John4:10). Then He continued to question the water without mentioning the topic she raised, He was still thirsty for her return. He who created the water, was thirsty of her tears flowing from her broken heart (penitence) thus, he asked her.
The woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep," what a heavy-hearted answer. Is it true that the Lord doesn't have anything to draw with and the well is deep? Indeed that's true.
So many desperate souls, those who yearn to return to you, and those who are thirsty for this return have fallen into a deep well. Their despair is so deep that many of whom you are thirsty went to a well of hate and evil. However, as the Samaritan woman has said, you don't have a drawer. Oh, you have no drawer unless you send a seraphine and cleanse us with fire.
The woman said to the God of Jacob, 'Are you greater than Jacob? The words of a despairing person are harsh. Such questions like: 'Are you better than anyone? Who are you greater than?' Are questions of a wounded soul. Christ did not get offended by her. He knows that the cause of her behavior was because of her desperate life. Hurt people hurt people, thus, he was patient with her without even saying let me keep my glory. Even when she said, 'I have no husband.' He said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband" and picked up the truth from her lies. ("The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true” John 4:18).
O our humble God, who does not destroy a smoldering wick nor a broken reed, please be patient with us as well, for our evil and harsh words are caused by our evil lifestyle. We became abusive, insulting, and racist, because of our corrupt lives thus forgive us Lord. We grieve you with our bad words, we sadden by quarreling with one another. As the Samaritan woman's husbands were shifted frequently so are our politicians and our marriages. Thus, as you were patient with her please Lord be compassionate and have patience with us.
Our Lord was patient and has filled the emptiness for the woman. He said unto her: "whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst." Then the woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." The water is Christ himself who has said, "I am the living water." When the woman knew it was him, she left her water jar. After she met him, she was sure that she would not thirst again.
Then my friend, have you not gotten to a road that you are tired of walking back and forth like a Samaritan woman? When you drink it, don't you still have an endless thirst? Are there no wells that you kept going to draw from? A place that you go back to after you've previously said you won't return to? What is the water you always drink, that you said you won't drink of it again? The things that you want to get rid of but haven't. Where you go around again and again to the original wrongdoings and bad habits? Christ knows the place and the water. If you want to get away from this, tell him as a Samaritan woman: "O Lord, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
Glory forever be to God, Amen!
Written by: Deacon Henok Haile
Translated by: Teresit Dengel