An underlying message in the story of the Woman at the Well is that Jesus accepts us just the way we are…wherever we are…whatever condition we are in.
In the story we see Jesus confronts the woman with her “sins.”
He said, “Go call your husband and then come back.”
“I have no husband,” she said.
“That’s nicely put: ‘I have no husband.’ You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough.”
John 4:16 – 18
This “revelation” was not meant to shame the woman or call her out about the way she was living. Instead it was Jesus’ way of saying, “I know who you are, I know what you’ve done, I know what you’re doing…and I love you anyway.”
How many of us are looking for that type of relationship: an opportunity to be real and authentic with people? We are in need of relationships where people know us well, know all about our “stuff” yet love us anyway. Unfortunately many of us are looking in the wrong places. We turn to sex, alcohol, drugs, Internet, gambling, food, and other vices to fill that emptiness of not being totally accepted for who we are.
In his book The Church of Facebook, Jesse Rice points out:
“Facebook, we could say, is a well where thirsty people come to take a drink. We are thirsty for the kind of community where we can feel at home and like ourselves. It is a place where we experience enough of an emotional buzz to keep us coming back, even though we grow increasing thirsty with every visit.”
There are many of us (self-included) who use our social media outlets as a way to create a community where we are totally accepted. Unfortunately these communities are not fulfilling because we generally only show people the parts of us we want them to see. We only use “good” pictures for our profile. We pick and choose what information to share on our wall or include in our posts. Jesus offers us the opportunities of total acceptance and unconditional love. And if you are lucky enough to find a community of fellow believers they will reflect this characteristic of Jesus and offer that total acceptance and unconditional love as well. And if you don’t have a community like that…it is time to find one.