Helping to Close Out The Real

     We are all sort of self-medicating aren't we?  We lie to ourselves, but do we even believe that?  My phone is a safe place that helps to silence the screams from the outside.  It isn't important what it is that is encroaching.  It is just easier to close out the real, and live in this world that doesn't really exist.

    I am just as guilty as everyone else.  Whether it is to mindlessly thumb through Facebook, or some ridiculously useless game.  We are seeking to avoid everything that makes life real.  Relationships are difficult, so it is easier to "relate" in this imaginary world we call cyberspace.  Conflict is hard, and so we "troll" one another in lengthy and seldom accurate comments.

    Community is incredibly difficult.  It is easy to be your "friend" in cyberspace, because I am not very likely to incur the cost of true friendship.  There is a give and take in human relationships.  They can be very costly.  I may have to give up some of my own autonomy to engage in a real relationship.

    Real world relationships are also difficult, because there are no filters in real life.  I am right in front of your face.  I am real.  I am flawed.  I don't get to present some airbrushed version of who I really am.  I could try to present a false self, but in the end it will never lead to lasting relationship.

    Have you considered the Samaritan woman at the well?  I don't that we truly understand what is happening in this story.  The culture distance is so great, that I think we miss something very very important.  Our Sunday, purity culture eyes see woman that has apparently changed husbands like her shoes.  It is easy to look down our noses at her.  Have we missed something important?

    In that culture, a woman couldn't divorce a man.  Woman could not own property as well.  She would be completely dependent on a man to provide for her.  The sad part of the story is that she had put all her chips in on a series of men, that turn out to cast her off like yesterday's garbage.  That is what is truly heartbreaking.  She was looking for affirmation, dignity, and to know that she matter to someone.  In the end, she couldn't bear to go through that once more.

    Jesus finds her at the well.  She has resigned herself that she is the woman that is good enough for now.  That is heartbreaking.  She is an imagebearer of God, and none of the men that have used her and cast her aside have ever seen that.  The Nazarene turns her world upside-down.

    Jesus saw her.  His heart aches for her.  He cherishes her for the imagebearer that she is.  When she runs back into town, I think it is interesting what she tells the people in town.  Come meet a man.  Come meet a man that told me everything about myself.  Isn't that what we all want though?  We want to be fully known.  We have to be fully known.  All of our avoidance of relationship is because we haven't made peace with our own faults.  We are certain that if the world knew my dark places, then they would reject me.  This woman had to have felt the same thing.  She is hiding in her shame.  (A shame that really should be on the men that have used her....BTW).  One day, she meets a man.  She meets Jesus.  In Jesus, she finds that she is fully known (warts included).  She is fully known and (this is the most amazing part) she is delighted in.  God delights in her.  She has been bought with a price.  

    Imagine what the world would be like if we all could feel that truth deep in our darkest places!


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