“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God, Micah 6: 8
“Is it a sin to love profoundly and care for the well-being of others?”
As I sat in the Presence of God, these are the words He spoke to me. Jesus reminded me that He sat at the well, waiting for a particular woman. He knew when she would arrive, so He was there before her as He met me this morning. She always went alone and in the heat of the day because the community shamed her. The other women condemned and shamed her for her choices, thus causing self-isolation; shame does that to people. She was married five times and lived with a man she did not marry or did the man refuse to marry her because he was ashamed of her and didn’t respect her? I don’t know.
Why did Jesus meet her at the well instead of the road to ask for a drink? He could have met her for a drink as she hurried home. Instead, He met her where she longed to be loved, respected, and accepted, offering her a glass of His Living Water. She said the well was deep; He couldn’t reach the depth for water. She didn’t know the depth of God’s love for her because no one showed her His love. Instead, they condemned her. Sadly, we judge others like the other women from the outer surface, sometimes because of the opinions of others; instead of meeting them at the well and offering a drink of the Living Waters of love, acceptance, and respect, we withhold and judge them because either we are in a hurry, or its easier to judge and move on or to look the other way; I’m guilty of this as well. I’ve heard people say, “If” they would have done this or that, they wouldn’t suffer. For example, I’ve heard mothers say they would rather have their child in prison than on the streets because prison was safer. They don’t understand that drugs are plentiful in prison and inmates are raping their children. I’ve also heard people say if she had stayed in her abusive home, at least she would have a roof over her head and food to eat; that is another form of imprisonment.
Abuse takes away the dignity of The Person; they are disrespected when someone dishonors their barriers like the devil; an abuser intrudes without an invitation and steals their victim’s dignity and self-respect. Jesus waited at the well and made a request. The woman responded a bit snarky, but Jesus loved her right there in the deep part of the well of her heart where she felt the pain of rejection and shame. He validated her wounds and offered her a drink, Himself. He also allowed her to reject Him; she accepted because He returned what was taken from her. He respectfully asked for a drink of water; her well of hope was probably dried out. He gave her dignity back by inviting her into His community; despite her past mistakes, he showed her she was worthy of His love. As Peter said, love covers a multitude of sins. He saw a crippled beggar at the gate entrance called Beautiful and said, “Silver and gold, I do not have, but I give you what I do have. He gave the man his attention, affection, acceptance, and allowance, which gave him faith to get up; sometimes, that’s all a person may need. What a beautiful gate; Peter opened the gate of his heart and shared God’s love with the beggar. We are all beggars in need of something.
I saw a post on Facebook where a leader said that God didn’t love the poor. I also saw in the comment section believers rebuking her. The Holy Spirit reminded me of when I said those words recently and how deep my wounds were, and I told her that I was sorry she felt abandoned by God and others; I wanted to validate her pain rather than condemn her words.
I, too, have felt abandoned by God, but He did not leave me; He sat at the well with me where my pain was. He used willing others to extend His grace when they came together as a community and provided what I needed. I was a stranger to a new community; instead of judging, they gave me what I needed. They refreshed my wounded heart with acceptance, love, and respect and helped me with my physical needs; and like the beggar, I was refreshed, my faith was restored, and I walked out of the pit of depression. They did not judge me. God is the judge of the heart; we are not.
Lord, give me a humble heart that loves and empathizes with those who are hurting, and if possible, help me help others by extending Your grace and mercy to refresh their weary souls and make me a wellspring of hope and love. Bless those who have blessed me in many ways. Sometimes, we avoid others because of our misconceptions or the opinions of others, especially victims of abuse. May we be a wall of protection for them? I repent for withholding Your grace; what You have provided is not only for our good but for the good of others. Please help me to see beyond hurtful words; validation unblocks the springs within when I label the wounds instead of the Person. And Lord, please give us discernment to smell the rat of deception who tries to use this post for ill gain; make them fall into the trap he set up for their victims. Thank You, Lord, for ministering to my heart as I write this, in Jesus’ name, amen