My art mentor, Marge, asked me if I was excited about my woman at the well book, The Drink Of A Lifetime, being published. How kind of her to ask. What a gift to just ask me how I am feeling. She takes time to ask and listen. She models loving, mentoring well for me. She’s been a true shepherd in my life.
I think about her question. I’m in a very different place emotionally than when I first made the art for the book. Yes, I knew about the Samaritan woman’s holes and how they resonated with my own story. But now, after so much chemo pain, night after night, day upon day, I think I better know her cavernous pain – the five failed marriages and now just “living,” truly unsafely, with a man. No commitment from that man. No certainty of love, care and fidelity. I mean, she must have been emotionally spent. Done. Chemo done.
Yet, Jesus steps into her very messy story and bottomless pain, carefully revealing He profoundly knows her and loves her in the safest way possible. He initiates in a winsome way, (“Can I have a drink?”) His desire to be eternally committed to her in life-giving love. (Living water) Most would certainly be put off by her messy life. Handling someone else’s pain, without suffering ourselves, rarely happens. However, Jesus did not distance Himself from her; He moves in close to make things eternally right and to heal.
I am learning of His loving commitment to me in deeper places in my heart. He is healing my cavernous “holes” just as He healed hers. Holes like pride, selfishness, envy, unforgiveness, and control. With quiet whispers in these nights, He says, “What about this? Could you have responded differently? Anything you want to confess?” There have been many nights of hot tears on my cheeks as I recall unkind words, jealousy for ministry, jealousy for health, wanting to control my own life, for heaven’s sake. “I’m sorry,” I whisper back, with the lump of remorse in my throat. Then, I’m gripped by God’s love and forgiveness flooding in at those moments of sorrow. (Living Water for me!) More tears break way to rest; He has carefully made things right eternally and healed.
So, yes, it’s nice to be able to share the book with my family and friends, and hopefully with women in tough places around the world. So many have cheered me on in this cancer journey; it’s so much fun to share this book with them. But, my deeper excitement is in knowing I’m loved with that same safe, life-giving love of Jesus, for all eternity, as given to the woman at the well.
To order your copy of The Drink Of A Lifetime, please click HERE.