Lent Without Hiding

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water,
Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
John 4:4-7

Jesus, sitting on the edge of a well, watching a woman drag a bucket across town towards the water supply, coming in the heat of the day so that she doesn’t bump shoulders with her neighbors or friends or relatives. She’s out in broad daylight, but she’s hiding. She’s hopeful that she’ll stay hidden. She’s hopeful that she can get through another day, week, year, without being revealed.

And there’s Jesus, sitting on the edge of the well. Waiting for her.

We all have our midday wells.

Where’s yours?

Where do you go to hide from human contact, hide from yourself, hide from being revealed, hide from the reality of who you are or who you’re afraid you’ll be named as?

How do you cover your tracks so that no one will be able to encounter the real, solid, human you?

How do you cover your tracks so that you don’t encounter yourself, either?

What closet have you found to shut yourself up in, because you’re afraid of what the light will show when it shines on you?

Because wherever that place is, Jesus is already there, waiting for you. And Jesus already knows exactly what you’re afraid will be revealed. And it doesn’t surprise him. And he isn’t stopped by any barriers that other people are stopped by. And he won’t run away, or look shocked, or laugh, or tease, or take lightly what has been sitting heavy on you for so long.

Jesus already sees it. Coming into the light doesn’t show him anything he doesn’t already know. And as he sees you lurking from human contact, telling yourself tired lies and convincing half-truths, shying away from being known and seen, he knows you.

And the one know knows you completely, who already knows what you won’t tell yourself, who already has seen what you won’t show anyone else, loves you entirely through every single piece of you.

What a thing to encounter at a well, at midday, under the hot sun.

Hallelujah, what a Savior.

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  1. YES. I truly believe that the woman at the well was not trying to “change the subject” when Jesus brought up her current situation. I think she knew men–all kinds of men–and discerned that this one wasn’t hitting on her and he wasn’t insane and he wasn’t going to attack her. He was a prophet. And maybe, just maybe, she could finally get the answer to the question that her people argued about for centuries, at parties, drunk and sober, loud and quiet, all the time arguing about where to worship…and she wanted to know, because somewhere there was a spark left of her that wanted to worship God. And so God sent his one and only Son out of his way through the ghetto to answer the theological questions of a whore, and reveal nothing less than HIMSELF to her. And that is grace.