By Connie Thomas
Tonight at Community of Travelers, we learned that what you take from a story or book in The Bible depends very heavily in how you read it. We read the story of the Samaritan woman who meets Jesus at the well. Pretty straightforward tale- Jesus asks her for a drink of water, we find out she had 5 husbands, and he tells her about "living water." With living water, you never thirst again because God quenches your soul.
What makes CoT incredible is that we get to learn little tidbits about The Bible that you never hear in Sunday school. For example- that woman at the well? She would only have been at the well at that time of the day because she was shunned by her village. And the 5 husbands thing? Forgive me for being naive- especially in a world where people have as many as 8 marriages- but that just meant she "knew" a lot of guys (in the biblical sense). Also, men never went to the well; that was the woman's job in the house. So, that begs the question- what in the world was Jesus doing at a well at the time when only shunned, loose women would be there?
That's where interpretation comes into play. If you want to believe that Jesus was there to be sleazy, well, that's your choice. The story says he was tired from his travels; you could believe that he just needed water and was there by accident. I'd like to believe, though, that he chose to be there at that time in order to meet the people who were outcast by society. Not only did Jesus give the Samaritan woman the word of God, he started the conversation by asking her for help. Can you imagine walking up to that guy at work that everyone avoids and asking him for help? It's an act of vulnerability, an act that Jesus chose.
Jesus's act of reaching out to this woman changed her life- she became the first evangelist, and told everyone about her experience. Kinda makes you wonder about what little acts of kindness can do for the outcasts in your life.