"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

~C.S. Lewis


Friday, June 13, 2014

When Jesus asks me for a drink

I want to hear his voice.

So I wait, and sit, and stare at the window, determined to stay silent until I hear him speaking, hear what verse I am supposed to read, what life-grace is set out for me from the pages of this Book.

And I hear nothing, and Louisiana sun settles toward the land and shadows from pine trees creep across blades of browning grass. And the world breathes out as it waits with impossible patience for a kingdom we cannot quite grasp, fingers brushing the corners of its power, thrilling down to our soul and tearing our heart in two.

So I wait to hear his voice. What verse, Jesus?

4:07 p.m. this afternoon, and the silence breaks, but he answers with a question instead of the answer—a teacher at heart, my Rabbi. What do you need to hear?

I do not know. I have too many questions to know which to ask, journal pages full of scribbled inked-out tangles of four-letter words and too many question marks and words blurred down by tears.

So I say, Jesus, tell me what I need to hear—you know—and he says, you need to hear my love.

And that is when I hear the passage.

Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. 
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” 
John 4:6-9

And I am back in November seven months ago, at an upper room in Dallas so crowded people were turned away, when the pastor stood and declared, “We wish to be a people who minister to Jesus’ heart.” My pen froze then, like when I would fall asleep in morning college classes (writing slanting off the page), but this time, I am woken up. Does that mean heresy or freedom?

Maybe it means hope.

Maybe it speaks of a Jesus who is thirsty. Who wants to be heard, who wants something far simpler and sweeter than I ever thought.

Maybe it is the love of one who asks me today not for more tears and trials and frustrated paragraphs of I-do-not-understand, but just one thing.

Just a glass of water.

Just a here-is-what-I-have, with dirt under my nails and a frayed rope at the well, no special skills and just a bucket for water at noon on a hot day, and we will sit and you will drink and maybe we will talk about the parts of life that hurt and that I don’t understand while we get sunburned and dig our feet in the dark-flecked dirt.

Because you were thirsty.

And I gave you a drink when you asked.