From the Shadows – Conclusion

If you haven’t read part 1 of this story, click here to catch up!

~

When I reach the well, a stranger is sitting on the edge, surrounded by a haze of dust and heat. He says he’s thirsty, asks me for a drink. I narrow my eyes with sun and suspicion, wondering what he really wants from me.

But thirst? I understand thirst. Thirst is what pulls me out of hiding every day.

What can one drink hurt?

As I draw the water, I throw idle questions at him. I’m used to conversing with men, it’s more of a reflex than anything else at this point.

But his answers are anything but idle. His words are heavy with a strange intensity, and his eyes – well, I don’t know how to describe them.

Piercing.

Soft.

Searching.

He speaks of a living water that quenches all thirst.

~

Never be thirsty again?

Ha, wouldn’t that be nice. No more early morning water runs beneath the gamut of a hundred judging eyes. And no more solitary, sun-baked afternoon sallies for water either, for that matter.

I ask him for a sample of this wonderous water, and he tells me to go and get my husband. I tell him I have no husband, and he responds that I am right, that I have had five husbands and the man I am living with now isn’t my husband.

At that, I feel shadows creeping into the corners of my eyes, even though the sun is blazing away overhead, and I clutch my water jar tightly, breath stuck in my throat.

Who is this man?

~

All at once I remember how my Jewish mother would sing psalms to me before I slept at night.

“Where can I go from your Spirit, O Lord, and where can I flee from your presence…

If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light will become night around me’ even the darkness will not be dark to you.

 The night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”

There are no shadows to hide in now, and for once I cannot hide in the light either.

There is nowhere to hide.

All at once a phrase bubbles up from deep inside, from a quiet place that remembers my mother hiding me in her arms, shielding my ears from my father’s angry words and blows.

She whispers of a coming hope, a sun that will rise with righteousness in its wings.

“I know that the Messiah is coming.”

This man with his claims of living water looks at me those eyes of his and proclaims in a low voice as if he is uttering the greatest and yet most obvious secret –

I am he.”

~

I am left blinking, baffled. Disbelieving. 

This man told me all I ever did. He sees me, stripped of my shadows, shame bared for all to see in the brightness of the sun.  

But a quick glimpse at his face shows no judgment. No anger. Just a strange, soft joy, quivering around his mouth and dancing in and out of his eyes.

“I am he,” he repeats.

I have no words. A brief breeze brushes my face, quickly giving way to the heat beating down from the sky.

We are silent.

I let my water jar heavily down to the ground, eyes fixed on his face.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I would rather be seen than hide. 

There are no shadows here.

~

And there you have it! I hope you enjoyed my little foray into the world of fiction. Though I guess it’s sort of a non-fiction piece since it’s based on a true story. Biblical fiction perhaps? Or fictionalized history? Historical fiction? Hehe I guess we’ll never know. 😀 But whatever it is, I hope it was a blessing to you!

I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Is there a particular part to this story that stood out to you? Have you ever read any fictionalized versions of John 4 before? Let’s chat! 🙂

Author: Hannah

Jesus follower. writer. bibliophile. dreamer.

2 thoughts on “From the Shadows – Conclusion”

  1. Your excitment over the coming of Spring makes me excited too. I love this poem and the way you so effectively use descriptive words.

    Liked by 2 people

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