The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him. John 4:28-30 NLT
What was once her walk of shame had now become her victory lap. Jesus had taken away her disgrace. He had forgiven her promiscuity. He hadn’t condemned her as her neighbors had always done. He had clothed her with a robe of forgiveness. Her shame had been replaced with joy. She didn’t hang her head on this return. Instead, she ran back to her village. She could ignore the shunning because of the mercy she had received from the Messiah. She had a fire lit in her soul, and she must pass it on. All because Jesus had touched her life. She ran through her village telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this possibly be the Messiah?” She ignored their first impulse to turn from her. She would not be silenced today. She had been changed in a moment. She had been given living water. Today she would not let them turn from her. There was an urgency in her words. And today her neighbors listened to her. They saw her transformation, and it was genuine. She became the Pied Piper. The people who once turned their backs to her and spoke ill of her; now followed her. The villagers streamed down the path after her. They also desired this living water. They had heard of this Nazarene named Jesus. His popularity was growing throughout Israel. They could not fathom that Jesus would end up in their country. They were Samaritans. The Jewish nation despised them. They called them half-breeds. Isrealites shook the dust off their feet if they even accidentally trudged through Samaria. What is this famous Rabbi doing in their country?
Jesus held no prejudices. He had no preconceived notions about what nationality was pure and who were considered tainted. He knew only One is Holy. His name is Yahweh. Yahweh was His Father and He was Yahweh’s only begotten Son. His only route was to go where His Father led him. He went where no Pharisee would, and He touched those the religious leaders considered unclean. Because that is what His Father does. His life intersected the poor in spirit and He gave them hope. He would not wipe the dirt of Samaria off his sandals because His Father knew each person’s worth.
Again I cannot let it go. No one is like our God! There is no other God! He desires fellowship with us, His Creation. He walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day during their days of innocence, and when innocence was lost, He sent His Son into the world to intersect the lost and lonely lives of His Creation. Jesus Christ Son of God left the majesty of heaven just so He could identify with those He created. He knew the life of hard knocks because He lived among us for thirty-three years.
How many times have I questioned His Presence in my life? I can’t even count the times I have shook my finger toward heaven and complained, “Your not listening to me! That is not how I wanted this prayer answered!” I have grumbled bitterly toward him. At times, even questioning if He was there, or was He just a cosmic entity far off in space. Thegrumbling and complaining did me no good and even caused a case of shingles. I now realize, He has always been present with me. It wasn’t God who turned His back on me; it was I who had turned my back on Him. All He has ever wanted was to walk with me in the cool of the day. He has been sitting at the well of living water all this time just waiting on my compass to head me north again. So what has changed in my life to stop my complaining and to start my recognizing Immanuel, God with me? He touched me. OOOOOH He touched me. In my most frantic of moments, He reached down and touched me. He intercepted my anxieties and filled my thoughts with His words of nearness. He drew me into His embrace and showed me actual signs of how He is listening to my prayers. I am not saying I got this down pat, or I have conquered my complaining. It is a daily falling on my knees and being still before God. Brother Lawrence, a 17th century Carmelite monk, taught that a person must practice the Presence of God. Just like practicing the piano, or practicing football, or soccer, or basketball, you must practice recognizing the Presence of God in your life. It is not easy. Only the Holy Spirit of God living inside every believer can help you live a life like that. Through the power of the Spirit of God, you can develop this practice. It is a learned trait that flows from the Spirit of God active in your life.
Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8a
“He touched me, He touched me, and oh the joy that floods my soul. Something happened and now I know, He touched me and made me whole”
From the song “He touched me” sung by Planetshakers