>> August 20, 2010
It's been a few weeks since I submitted for Friday Fiction. Today's blog-hoppin' fun is being hosted by Vonnie at her new blog for children called Polliwog Pages. (such a cute name)
This story was pulled out of the deep dark files of long ago for a newsletter I'm starting at church. It needed a serious re-working. I've come a long ways, Baby.
Meet Sami...aka The Woman at the Well...
It’s going to be another hot day. The temperature soared and perspiration dripped from Sami’s brow.
Most women would start their morning by fetching water from the well before the heat of the day. Sometimes they’d chit-chat and gossip while they enjoyed a long cool drink of water.
Not Sami. She’s not like the other women. Sami was the object of their gossip. They’d drink their cool water, refreshing their parched tongues while they flapped about in idol gossip. If they didn't have anything new to "share”, they’d just rehash the old.
Sami licked her dry lips and poked her head outside to see if everyone was back from the well. She grabbed her water pots and headed out. She tried to swallow in anticipation of much needed relief, but her throat stuck together. Although the water would already be warm, she knew the moisture would feel good in her mouth. Dried up from lack of fluids, Sami struggled to even blink in the bright sunlight. With her head down, and steps quick, she hurried towards the well.
This wasn't the life Sami chose. Somewhere along the way it was dumped on her; her identity stolen long ago. After all, she’s just a woman. Traditions and circumstances beyond her control dictated who she’d become. It was, so she thought, her destiny.
Sami adjusted her water pots and dared to look up to calculate how many more dusty steps she had. She stopped abruptly when she spotted a man standing at the well. Angry that she would have to encounter anyone, let alone a man, she trudged forward determined to complete the task at hand.
If Sami could handle anyone, it’s a man. She’d learned this skill long ago. At least that's what she thought. In reality, men "handled" her.
Avoiding eye contact, Sami bolstered her courage, stepped up to the well, and let her water pots down to receive the much needed moisture.
Then the unthinkable happened. This Man engaged her in conversation.
“Could you give me a drink?”
“Why would a Jew bother a Samaritan for a drink of water?” Head down, Sami couldn't hide the sarcasm. Forget the fact that I’m a woman. Being a Samaritan should have stopped him from asking.
Sami soon realized this man was different. He didn't really want anything from her. As a matter of fact, he wanted to give to her. With every word he said, a bit of her past melted away. Sami could almost feel water trickle down her bone dry body, all the way to her toes that wiggled inside her dusty sandals. Never before had any man spoke to her in a way that made her feel this physical sensation.
"Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." ~John 4:13-14
Sami still visits the well alone in the heat of the day. Not to avoid people, but to remember the day her identity had been restored. The day that she was cleansed from the inside out with something He called Living Water.
She licked her lips anticipating the first drink each day. She knew she’d always physically thirst. But on that day, she drank of the Living Water and her dried up bitter, wounded insides, were healed, never to thirst again.