"lent 2, 2017: water"
mixed media (acrylic paint, found papers, gel medium, glitter, waterpaint, glass beads)
gregory a. milinovich
as i continue to journey through my lenten discipline of creating something each week that serves as my response to the theme and text in worship that week. since we are focusing on "the landscapes of lent" at St. Paul's UMC and Wesley Foundation, we began on ash wednesday by looking at ashes, then last week at the wilderness. this week we turned to the story of the woman at the well, and talked about water, and about what really satisfies us.
somewhere in us - in all of us, i daresay - is a hole. a hunger. a desire. a need for fulfillment. some have called it a God-shaped hole. in any case, the lining of that cavity, at least for many of us, is lined with the scars of many attempts to fill it with that which doesn't quite fit, or fulfill, in any case. that must have been true for the samaritan woman, drawing her water at jacob's well in the heat of the day, so she didn't have to deal with her neighbors' judging glares and whispered gossip. after all, she had quite the reputation, and had gone from man to man, from lover to lover, in search of fulfillment. she was still at it, with a man to whom she was not married, trying to fill that space, satisfy that soul-need.
and as she prepares to gather her water, Jesus speaks with her. he points the obvious: that she has to keep quenching her thirst at this well. everyday. she comes back. time after time, the thirst - the hunger - returns. he may be talking water. or he may be talking about a deeper desire insider her. either way, he says he has something that could truly satisfy her: living water. he tells her that this gift, while it starts with the jews, spreads outward like ripples on the surface of a pond, to samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
so i'm thinking about water. in my faucet. in my shower. in my glass with dinner. in frozen form, blanketing our front yard right now. water everywhere, to the ends of the earth. and i'm thinking about what i'm filling myself with. how am i trying to be satisfied? do i keep going to the well, day after day, trying to feed a spiritual hunger with a physical cure, all the while scarring myself and forgetting that there is One who is all i'll ever need? i'm trying to drink deeply of that truth.