Sunday, October 06, 2013

A Winsome Invitation (Part 3 - Adapted from John 4)

When I looked at him I saw something I've never seen before.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but a purity of sorts.  Not specifically sexual, but something much more.  A purity of thought, purity of expression, purity of words.  A purity of alignment.  Somehow everything seemed to line up with everything else.  No contradictions, no pretension, no hiding, no false presentation, no spinning.  His actions, his expressions, his words, his movement, his speech pattern.  Even the way he closed his eyes.  Authenticity is the word that comes to mind.

Just as he quietly spoke those stunning words, "I am He," a group of men walked up.  The moment evaporated and the purity disappeared.  Although they said nothing to me, it was obvious by their expressions that they did not associate with my people, let alone a woman with my past.

They clearly knew this man and, thankfully, taking their cues from him they held their tongues.  However, they did not hide their looks.  Were they embarrassed that their leader spoke to me?  Why on earth would he talk with me?  They probably wondered what I wanted from him.  They wouldn't know that he was the one who started the conversation not me.  That he asked me for a drink not the other way around.

On the other hand, maybe they sensed something important occurred?  I don't know, but I quickly turned without saying goodbye or saying what my heart wanted to say.  "Thank you for respecting me and affirming me.  Thank you for listening to me and hearing the words behind my words."

As I walked home the whole conversation replayed again through my mind.  This tired man sitting beside the well when I arrive.  Him asking me for a drink.  Me surprised at his acknowledgement as well as his words.  My shock and slightly edgy response.  His offer of something called Living Water.  His first clue of his true identity.  His invitation to ask for this Quenching and to ask for this Living Satisfaction.

Didn't he say something about never thirsting again?  I desire to be satisfied, to be truly satisfied; and for deep desires to be quieted so they won't rage.  The thing is lost hopes, lost dreams, disappointments, rejection, they always leave an empty place.  Abandoned now, but still known.  Still very much known.  Each new thing has promise.  Each new relationship a focus and a hope for a future.  Yet each eventually disintegrates.  Each one somehow twists into something else.  What initially piqued interest now brings anger.  Not wanting to cling too tightly somehow I still do.  I look for signs.  I look for clues of loosening commitment and for waning interest.  I clutch tighter and tighter trying to control things out of my control.

I always give my heart to each one thinking it will work this time.  I turn over the reins, my hopes, my future, my plans and then it all evaporates.  The reins get twisted and I'm left broken with mounds of unmet needs, confusion, dissatisfaction, and thirst...deep, deep thirst.

Had I inadvertently set each up to fail?  In all honesty were they ever really capable of delivering what I needed?  Is it even possible for a person, a job, a child, a goal to satisfy everything?  Maybe some part of that everything, but I see now a big gulf between their ability and my heartfelt need and desire.

Was his offer of Living Water meant to meet this deep need?  Was his offer to care for my abandoned and broken heart?

you, my beloved, 
are worthy of My love

And I AM 
worthy of your heart.

These words came to mind from out of nowhere.  They reduce me to tears wooing and disarming me. What does it mean for GOD to say he is WORTHY of MY heart.  If He truly is God it seems He bows quite low when He says them.

Something about letting those words settle over me brought a quiet.  I now understand.  He is and had always been the only one who could fully care for my heart.  Not only care for it, but truly honored to be asked.  To all others it is a burden.  Disappointment was always and would always be the end.  It couldn't be any other way.

I realized I never did get that drink he offered.  Though in truth something shifted inside.  No longer is my deep need a home for shame.  For the first time I feel honored and cherished.

Maybe that remarkable man and brilliant prophet really is who is says he is.  Maybe, just maybe, he really is the Messiah after all.

* ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ *

Part 1 - An Unexpected Conversation
Part 2 - A Disarming Revelation
Part 3 - A Winsome Invitation


sbfoodie said...

Lisa, your words here were very needed and a balm to my heart... my experience of looking too much to the wrong sources and hearing the call of His love and sufficiency mirrors your paraphrase here. May you continue to allow God and His words shine through you as grace and living water to those who are hurting and seeking!!! Laura

Small Glimpses said...

My Dear Laura - I'm so grateful these words were a balm to you. This was the same for me, too. Stepping inside this story in a new way opened my eyes, as you said, to His love and His sufficiency. Bless you my friend. Sending hugs through the miles. xoxo!!