Reflection on the 3rd Sunday in Lent, Year A
Textual focus: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; John 4:5-42
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Water is soft except when frozen;
hearts, too, locked into hate and fear,
blocked from openness by judgment,
anger, othering. Soft walls do not exist,
hot or cold, except for Hebrews
marching between watery walls
to escape Pharaoh.
Only way to overcome hardness
of a wall is to climb over or go around,
cut a doorway through. When people
want to keep others out they build a wall,
but it is not easy to wall up the river
that runs between them;
water still flows somewhere,
maybe even drowning those
who built the wall. Pharaoh knew about
being overwhelmed by water
and Moses followed God’s direction
to strike the rock at Horeb
so water flowed and people drank.
Jesus was thirsty, probably still is,
not for water, but for us,
wanting more connection.
So much life flows from times spent with him,
but I forget he sits nearby,
ready for me to ask.
I wonder how often he has said
to me, give me a drink,
and I, unlike the Samaritan woman,
neither hear nor reply.
Is the wall around, or in, me
higher, harder, than the one
built by the enmity
between her people and his?
About this poem . . . We focus often on how Jesus, despite his statement about the superiority of Jewish belief, spoke so openly with the woman of Samaria, and she with him. He did, with her cooperation, cross the historical boundary erected long before. What I have often missed, however, is how that crossing came, how the wall was breached, as the result of a simple request for a drink of water.
©Robin Gorsline 2017 faithfulpoetics.net