According to John chapter 4, Jesus left Judea and departed again to Galilee, but He needed to go through Samaria.
What did Jesus have to do there? Meet a Samaritan woman – an outcast adulterer – who would be drawing water in the sixth hour. This is a significant meet and greet, far from just being at the right place at the right time.
Jesus speaks to the woman compassionately and with a gentle firmness. He discusses her life. Her sin. “You are right to say you have no husband. In fact, you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband,” He tells her openly and honestly.
He immediately sees where she is and knows just what to say in order to move her to where she needs to be. He uses her thirst for water to get her to understand what she is truly seeking. Doing so, He reveals her ultimate need for a savior.
With care and truth, Jesus meets this woman exactly where she is and points her towards where He wants her to go. “Go and sin no more,” He says. He freely gives her the opportunity for a transformed life.
This is how we are to approach those who seem all too often unlovable. It’s something Chaplain Danny encountered a few Mondays ago.
“One of the girls who started coming to the Family Activity Center, has a bad attitude and problems with aggressiveness,” Danny said. “We took her out from the center a few weeks ago when. She’s always saying that she is ‘from the hood’ and she feels proud of that.”
This girl is often hard-hearted and difficult.
“But she changed her attitude,” Danny said. “We allowed her to return again to the center, not only her but also her older sister and other friends.”
Last week she told Danny that he was “wierd.”
He asked: “Why? Is my Puerto Rican accent, my shoes, my way of dressing?”
She didn’t answer.
Another week passed and week she told Danny he was weird again. And this time she explained why.
“Because you care.”
In other words she is saying that Danny’s behavior is different from everything that surrounds her. Much like Jesus’ behavior around the female Samaritan outcast. With compassion, concern and mercy, Danny is showing this child just Who Jesus is. And he’s doing this meeting her where she’s at.
“Although her behavior is not the best, she knows that there are people who are willing to help her,” Danny said. “There are people who want to get her out of that mentality of the ‘hood.’”