Samantha’s family emigrated to America from Mexico when she was only eight. Her mother fled from her abusive boyfriend, Samantha’s father, finding work in the small taqueria of a distant cousin. Samantha’s mother worked long hours, and the young girl was often left alone. As she grew older, she discovered a way to find the connection she desperately sought. All she had to do was offer her body to the boys. Sexting led to backseat encounters, which led to multiple partners in urban bedrooms. Shunned by the girls her age, Samantha found intimacy through sex alone. She could not have foreseen the dangerous addiction that would develop. As a young woman, she fought to break free of her sexual addiction.
Though she longed to be free, the connection between love and sex had been deeply engraved in her soul.
A Woman with Many Husbands
It’s possible that Samantha and the Samaritan woman of John 4 had similar addictions. Maybe the Samaritan woman had five husbands and lived with one who was not her husband because she too had sought to fill her craving for love through offering her body to men. Maybe the Samaritan woman went to the well at noon, the hottest time of the day, because at that hour, she would not encounter the shaming whispers of the town’s women.
When the strange Rabbi asked the Samaritan woman for a drink of water, she was surprised…First, why would a Jew ask for a drink from a Samaritan woman (Jews hated Samaritans). And second, why would a man, a Rabbi no less, speak to a woman, a woman like her?
And what was this strange, “living water,” he spoke of? He said whoever drank of it would never be thirsty again. Oh, she knew about thirst. She had thirsted for love, and time after time, man after man, her thirst had remained unquenched. “The water that I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:15). Yes, she longed for this water, water that would moisten her mouth and rinse her dusty soul…