The Well

 

The day began like many others, shadows slowly taking form.  From somewhere beyond the reach of the eye, a deep orange blush began to spray across the eastern horizon.  In the distance a mourning dove welcomed the dawn, softly bidding a gentle farewell to the coolness of the previous night.  Under the covering of his outer garment he lay still, eyes open and listening intently as the desert lazily began to embrace the rising of the sun.  The night’s meditation clearly evident, he rose from the cold sandy impression on the gritty terrain, shook the sand from his covering, turned his face to the South and set out toward his destination.  Those who accompanied him, moving slowly had no realization of the mission of the day, but only knew of and focused on the journey’s end, forsaking all events that may take place in this desolate area of their pilgrimage.

The sun was well established as taking ownership of the day when she stirred from her bed, the sounds of daily chores filtering into the darkened room from the busy street without.  Passing her calloused hands over her wrinkled outer clothing, she slowly walked to the water container; emptied what was left into a bowl and gently wet her long dark hair, feeling the coolness of the water run down her smoothly tanned face like tears, and dripping onto the dirt floor.  Quietly, so as not to awaken her companion, she listened at the doorway.  “By now,” she thought to herself, “the others should have returned.”  She would avoid all confrontations and stares of arrogant scorn from the other women at all cost.  Having no revelation of her meeting with destiny, she pushed aside the curtain and stepped out of the doorway, squinting at the burning arrows of brightness that flooded her soft brown eyes.  Quickly shouldering the earthen vessel she began the untimely and shameful trip to the well on that late summer morning.

At its highest point, the sun found the small group of men approaching the oasis.  Each one’s stomach groaned with displeasure from missing the morning meal just as much as each one groaned in their inner thoughts as to the necessity of passing through this godforsaken land.  Now they were obligated to purchase supplies from these people of whom they had learned to avoid; each of them anticipating a quick meal, a short rest and a hurried exit into the arid, dry land beyond.  Why he had chosen this route was totally incomprehensible but their loyalty far outweighed their questions.  Their call to follow stirred a heartfelt confidence that inspired them to move with him into any place without fear.

Prior to arriving at the well the group split.  All of them walked toward the town with the exception of one who was asked to recline with him until the others returned with the supplies.  Looking down the pathway he found the lone figure carefully approaching and his heart leaped for joy with the expectation of the event that he saw in his mind’s eye just last night.

As she rounded the final bend her feelings sank upon finding the well area occupied.  Slowly approaching there appeared to be only two men, one lying in the shade of the palm tree and one sitting at the well, facing her and watching as she came into the clearing.  At least they were strangers and not of the village, but by the look of them they were Jews, travel worn and tired.  Taking a deep breath and assuming an air of confidence she walked into the opening, and by so doing stepped into a destined meeting with the Christ.

I watched and listened as He gently spoke words of life into her, skillfully answering every statement with loving and peaceful confidence until she, leaving her water pot ran back into the city and shortly returned with a multitude.  “Look:” the Master said, smiling widely as they began to arrive, “the fields are ready for the harvest!”  We remained there for two more days, watching Him speak and walk among them as if He had known them all of their lives, many recognizing Him as the promised One, the Messiah.

My life with Him was one of the most beautiful things that I have ever experienced.  Crowds followed Him and pressed Him to exhaustion, yet He continued giving to them, with love and kindness, day after day.  And now, as according to the demands of time, the hour had come for us to make the last trip to Jerusalem.  It was on this journey that He spoke to me with such passion and concern, that I felt as if I had pierced Him with a dagger when I spoke of calling the fire of God upon the people of the same land who had accepted Him so graciously nearly two years ago.  His words to me were direct, clear but saturated with forgiving love.

Today I am the last of our group.  Only I am left, who walked the desert with Him that day.  Today I will lay still and allow Him to call me to His side.  Today, again I will recline with Him and will experience His living water washing over and refreshing this aged soul.  I am of His Spirit!

 

James Bello

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