At the margins

It's not really insightful to point at the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, and say it shows Jesus' compassion and love for the marginalized. I'm sure it's true, but hopefully any serious reader of the Bible has figured that out already. But it bears repeating because we still have a fair bit to learn about the implications for our lives.

Jesus not only gives the time of day to a Samaritan (lower class), not only to a Samaritan woman (lesser human), but to a Samaritan woman who is clearly a social outcast even among her peers, as evidenced by the fact she's fetching water in the heat of the day, rather than at dawn or dusk with the rest of the women.

So when do I bother to talk to the outcasts among us? "I don't know what to say; I'm running late; I'm worried it's dangerous" -- excuses come easy. I wish I could just flip a switch and be able to do hard things. But I don't think guilt, or just trying harder is going to be the ticket. Jesus talked with this woman not because it was the right thing to do, but because he loved her. And that's what it'll take for his followers who want to follow well. Trying to help the less fortunate because we're supposed to will eventually wear us out and make us bitter. Knowing the Saviour's love so deeply and so well that we can't help but want to share with everyone around -- that's what it'll take.


Popular Posts