The Social Gospel According to the Woman at the Well

spectrummagazine.org | 8/12/2017 | Staff
tiana_101 (Posted by) Level 3
A year ago, I was able to travel with a couple of colleagues to Flint, Michigan to distribute water in response to the water crisis. I never realized the necessity of water until educating myself about the crisis. The residents of Flint were only allotted one case of water per person every day at the water distribution area at the fire station. Unfortunately, one case of water was not enough for drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning the house. From talking to some of the residents, going to the water distribution areas became a daily routine. These individuals would visit the fire station for the same reason: to receive water. This situation reminded me of a familiar story in John 4 about the Samaritan woman.

As we have noticed, the Samaritan woman was drawing from the well during the hottest time of the day. Women normally collected water around dawn and dusk when it was much cooler. Because the Samaritan woman had a reputation, she didn’t want to be ridiculed by the women in her neighborhood whenever she drew from the well. She didn’t want to be greeted by fake smiles and overhear the other women gossiping about her.

Samaritan - Woman - Comfort - Well - Time

Thus, the Samaritan woman risked her comfort by drawing from the well during the hottest time of the day. I can only imagine how she must have felt walking from her home with her water jar and having to draw from the well in the unbearable heat. She was undoubtedly hot and bothered as the result of being marginalized by the society she was living in. Nobody was able to understand her painful past or even took the time to have a conversation with her.

All of us today have an experience of feeling hot and bothered by the world we live in. Some of...
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