They say she went to the well at noon to avoid the gossipy glances of the community’s women who gathered there to chat when it was cooler.
They saw her as we all would: a woman who’d “been around the block,” living with a guy after having blown through five marriages. They saw a failure.
The disciples saw her as we churchy folks would: a woman of questionable religious heritage, someone you just don’t walk up and talk to. They saw her in the construct of their rules.
And Christ? He saw someone worthy of a conversation. He saw woundedness, sorrow and strength. He saw a soul open to truth. And he saw a future unimaginable to those who see without faith. Before he formed her in the womb he knew her and before he brought her to birth he consecrated her to be a prophet (Jeremiah 1:5). And that’s just what she became.
If there’s one thing I’ll never understand, it’s why he’s left his mission in our hands, we who still see with such blind eyes. Who force souls for whom he died to avoid our gossip and our glances and our silence and to turn instead to all manner of polluted water sources: addictions, promiscuity, overspending and right-back-atcha gossip of their own.
And yet, there it is: apparently he sees a prophet in each one of us, too.
Thank you for seeing each of us poor failures with your eyes of Eternal Love. Open our eyes and break our hearts that we may see each soul as you do. Forgive the moral blindness behind our gossip.
This post is part of a series (see A Lenten Invitation from a Babbling Brook: Focus on Speech and Silence). To receive new installments, you’re invited to “Follow SparrowFare via Email” by placing your email address in the box in the right sidebar (mobile users will find it below). Please share the posts that speak to you. In this contentious time, let’s spread the word about the importance of our words.