"The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?"
She went to the well to fetch water, of course. She was on her own, which wasn't usual. Maybe the other women of the village disapproved. I mean, five husbands plus one who wasn't her husband? It's not surprising if they didn't want to talk to her. They probably talked about her enough. The way she dressed. The way she spoke to men.
But Jesus spoke to her. Her - a foreigner, a woman, and such a woman.
She didn't keep quiet as a woman should. She persisted. She challenged. She questioned.
And Jesus heard her. He heard her and he knew her.
He knew all of her - the good, the bad, the ugly - and he offered her living water, and the chance to be his messenger.
An ordinary angel, raised from the dust around the well.
Is there an angel in me?
Is there space within this rather worn shape I wear
which you could fill?
I didn't know I hungered for that.
I didn't realise that I longed to have a purpose
beyond temporary relationships, the need to survive
and a desire to be loved.
And yet, I have always been a woman who asked questions.
My husbands never asked questions,
Demands, yes, questions no.
But me, I have paid attention to the prophets.
And you, you are a prophet.
More than a prophet.
I can hear it, I can taste it.
Are you? Can you be?
You are and you have chosen me to tell people.
Here. Hold my jar.
I have a message to deliver.
1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptising more disciples than John – 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptised, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, ‘Will you give me a drink?’ 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered 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.’
11 ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’
13 Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’