My mom always had a junk drawer in the kitchen. Much to my husband’s dismay, I have continued the tradition.
The junk drawer is full of trinkets and what-nots that I am not yet ready to throw away. If you glanced over the contents, you might pick up a certain piece and wonder why it’s there. I’d enjoy sharing with you the stories of sweet pudgy little-boy hands that played for hours with that matchbox car or the little girl who needed help putting that shoe on her baby doll.
My drawer full of gems might look like junk to you, but to me, it is treasure.
Jesus and His disciples were traveling from Judea to Galilee. The Bible states that they had to travel through Samaria. Samaria was the “junk drawer” of the day. Jews would travel the long way around to keep from sharing air space with a Samaritan.
Jesus was exhausted. He sat at Jacob’s well and sent his disciples to buy food. A woman arrived to draw water from the well. Jesus asked for a drink.
Samaria was the junk drawer and Samaritan women were unworthy of even taking up space in the junk drawer.
Yet, Jesus spoke to her. He asked her for a drink of water.
I imagine she didn’t know how to respond at first. Men did not speak to women in public. Jews did not speak to Samaritan women at all.
Paraphrasing, Jesus told her, “If you knew God…if you knew His gift to you…if you knew who just asked you for a drink of water, you would ask Him and He would give you living water.”
She didn’t understand what He meant by living water.
They continued to converse, and Jesus revealed that He knew her and everything about her. He knew her past failures and her present condition. He knew her struggles and her pain. He knew her guilt and her shame.
He spoke to her.
Imagine with me if you will, a tired woman coming late in the evening…alone…to the well to draw water. She was not only living in the junk drawer, her choices in life had made her an outcast among her own people.
Looking in the distance, she sees there is a man at the well and wonders to herself if he will ridicule her.
Should I turn away and come back later? I cannot, for it is late and I need water.
Maybe she stiffens her back, with a rebellious attitude brought on by her life’s choices, and walks with purpose: He will have to move. I have work to do.
Perhaps she takes a deep breath and moves forward with determination: I have done the best I can with my life and this man has no right to judge me.
I see her as lonely and weary: You can do this. Just don’t look at him. Get the water and get back home to the safety of a closed door.
And then He spoke to her.
The story is beautiful as Jesus’ love for her flows freely, and He tells her about Living Water. She is thirsty, not from the journey to the well that warm evening. She is thirsty because she has tried to quench her parched life with what seemed right at the time. Husband after husband after husband after husband after husband…
We thirst because we fill our lives with what seems right…
- I will be a good person and I will feel good about myself.
- I will buy pretty things and surround myself with the security of stuff.
- I will eat whatever I please because food tastes good and it makes me happy.
- I will please the people around me because if people are happy with me I am doing something right.
- Life has dealt me a raw hand; I am going to get what’s mine.
- I will believe whatever comforts me today. A moment of peace is better than no peace at all.
As Jesus spoke, her fractured heart began to heal. He offered her living water–healing and peace that is never-ending. Perfect love and acceptance.
Forgiveness without a hitch.
I see the tired lines on her old-too-early face begin to soften as she realizes she is in the presence of the Messiah. Her shoulders, once heavy with the weight of her sins, are slowly rising with relief as Jesus lovingly removes each burden she carried.
She arrived at the well in a hopeless mess of her own doing. She left the well a new woman.
She ran back to Samaria and told others about her divine appointment. She said, “Come see! Come see! He told me everything I ever did!”
The recounting of what happened that day ends with the men of Samaria saying, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world.”
Jesus stayed for two days before going on to Galilee.
Let us treasure people as we remember there are no junk drawers in heaven. Jesus picks us up, and transforms us from a tired trinket into a priceless gem.
He truly is the Savior of the world!
in the Quiver