While I have never seen it, I have heard of a television show where various CEOs of large retail companies work at one of their entry level jobs to see what it is like. In the show, no one with whom the boss is working knows who he/she really is. It reminds me of an old film from the 1960’s called The Shoes of the Fisherman where the actor Anthony Quinn plays a reluctant pope who while trying to bring about peace during the Cold War, also sneaks out of the Vatican from time to time dressed as a layman just to walk the streets like a regular guy (sound familiar?). If these people only really knew with whom they were working (or walking on the street) would they act any differently?
Jesus uses these same words while speaking with the woman at the well. To her, he is just some guy whom she runs into at the well looking for water. Jesus himself says to her “If you only knew who was asking you for a drink, you would have been given so much more!” How often do we miss the opportunities to be refreshed by God? We take for granted the people in our lives who are simply the passersby – never believing that they could possibly have something more profound to offer. The encounter with Christ need not only take place in Church or as we find some quiet time each day to pray. Jesus desires to encounter us wherever we may be, and in particular in the busyness of everyday life – at the well.
The well is an apt metaphor for the refreshment we seek. If you only knew how frequently Jesus desires to refresh your life in ways that are far more lasting than a swig from a water bottle. His engagement of us is all around, especially in the hundreds of people we pass each day. They are His special creation, placed on this earth to enrich and bless the lives of us all. If we then are willing to look at others with this fresh perspective and be better able to drink anew from the fountain of life giving water that others may share with us (even unknowingly), then how much more should we be willing to offer that same refreshment to others? Not only are we the woman at the well, but we are also Jesus at the well. May we seek to bring his life giving sustenance to all we meet by the ways in which we share His presence in all that we do. If they only knew…
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