Aug 2, 2019

Under the shade tree....

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"but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." John 4:14

The air was cooler than normal today. I put my laundry on hold and made a run for the door to catch the breezier feel in the air.

I love to walk. It is my thing. I love to pray, talk to Jesus, and just breathe in His creation as I walk.

This particular morning, I was short on time. Lunch plans with my mom were looming, and I needed to make this walk quick.

As I was rounding the corner back to my house, I spotted him. He was sitting under a huge tree at our local school track.

I had not seen him in a while.

My pulse quickened. What should I do?

I really wanted to check on him and say hello, but I knew that would entail more time than I had. He liked to talk.

The Lord whispered so sweetly to my heart, "you said you wanted to seek out the lonely, Jill. you just wrote about it. here is your chance. this opportunity is not for him, it is for you."

I knew what I should do. But, I didn't want to.

Before my head could talk me out of it, I walked through the little fence leading to the track and to the tree that my friend was sitting under.

We made conversation. He filled me in on where he had been.

The talk is often awkward. What do we have in common?? Nothing really.

We talked anyway.

Lord, what is the point here? I silently asked.

After a few minutes in, I remembered the story of the woman at the well. The story that grabs my heart each and every time I read it. The story that I had just this week written about here on my blog.

My friend, David, was not at a well. He was sitting under a tree. He was finding shade from the sun. All alone. He, his bag of books, and this mighty tree.

I suddenly realized we were not so different.

How many times have I sat in a lonely many times.

I am not homeless, but so often my heart craves for Home. In the arms of Jesus.

My friend is homeless. He lives in his van.

His temporary home.

We spoke about God and Jesus and religion...again. 

He told me again for the thousandth time that I was never going to convince him that there is a God.

I smiled and nodded, looking down at my shoelaces.

"You are right, David. I just want to be your friend." I replied.

His eyes met mine. He wanted to believe me I could tell. He wanted to believe that I was not just some bible thumping Christian looking for souls to save.

He needed a friend.

Jesus doesn't call us to save, fix, and heal others. He calls us to love. To befriend. To notice. To reach out.

I have fallen short so many times.

I can see the loneliness. I can smell the empty. I can almost taste the despair in his eyes.

Swallowing back fear and trepidation I boldly asked him...

"But, what do you have to lose, David? What in the world do you have to lose by believing?"

He looked down. For the first time ever, he had no response. No answer. Just a gentle shaking of the head.

After the silence, he begin telling me a couple of jokes.

I laughed and told him I had to go...but I would definitely be looking for him again under this tree.

He was trying to stretch the conversation....I could tell.

The loneliness was piercing.

I finally turned to go and felt this sadness wash over me. Oh, Jesus. I don't understand. What will it take for David to believe?

Oh, David. You just have no idea how much you are NOT alone. Jesus is with you. He is always with you. He has never left you, although you have left him.

Again, he and I are not so different.

I am a believer in Jesus with all of my heart...

But, I have often left Jesus.....clinging to my rights and my hurts and licking my wounds not once reaching out to Him....

Souring from the inside out at times because I forget....

I forget that He will NEVER leave me or forsake me. [Hebrews 13:5]

 I forget that the insults that fall on me, fall on Him. [Romans 15:3]

I am the woman at the well.

Alone. Rejected. Sin-filled.

Yet, He comes. He finds me. He rescues me. Every single time.

And He gives me Living Water to this parched soul.

He sits under a tree....

I sit at the well....

We are not so different.

Looking for quenching...

I have finally found it...

He is still looking...

We are not so different.

I have etched David's name in my prayer journal so many times....

Will I see the fruit of those prayers? Maybe not.

But, just like Jesus whispered to me as I was contemplating approaching David today....seeing him is not for him, it is for me. 

I need the reminder.

Lest I forget and stay at the well.

I am hopeful that David will drink from the Living Water one sweet the meantime, I will meet him under that tree.

He has found the shade....I am hopeful that he will find the Water.

getting up from the well,


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