Hope for the Forgotten
Boundaries are unavoidable, but far too often they produce an unwelcome evil: distance, disassociation, demonization, and destruction. Jesus and the woman He meets at the well have as many boundaries between them as can be imagined: ethnic, gender, class, even religion—and Jesus ignores them all, stepping right through them in their conversation.
Jesus, who in every one of these differences appeared to have the advantage, asked her for help. The woman struggles with Him reaching across these boundaries, citing their differences, while Jesus cites their commonalities. He shows that He is fully aware of her sin, and the fact that she was forced to retrieve water at mid-day instead of the cooler hours means she was an outcast even in her own community.
Throughout their conversation, Jesus speaks of only one boundary that matters: the one between humanity and God. But even as He speaks, Jesus is stepping through that boundary as well. Hope is here for the outcast, the one whom society has forgotten.
Jesus describes a relationship with Him as the difference between drinking from a well and finding the spring of living water that eradicates thirst. Do we sometimes get so caught up in the particulars of our identity that we ignore our most basic characteristic, perhaps the only one that matters? Our identity is in Christ first, no matter who we are, where we are, or what we've done.
Seventy-two year old Nairuba had been praying for safe, clean water for a long time. She said before Lifewater came to the village, nobody understood that the water was contaminated, and that's what was causing the constant sickness. She thanks God for answering her prayers each time she visits the village well.