The Woman by the Well

The Woman by the Well

By Mayra Rodriguez

A woman unworthy to have her name recorded in history but powerful enough to have her story recorded in one of the most powerful and influential books of all times, The Bible. She is known as, “The Woman by the Well”. 

A Samaritan woman, who was labeled and rejected by society simply because of her past and current status; an isolated, unseen, broken, and neglected yet, an unexpected opportunity arose and she seized the moment to change her trajectory, and ultimately, history. This woman is one of my heroes. Why? Well, because she represents many of us. 

It is said that this woman would go alone to the well at the worst time of the day, 12 noon. Although typically this practice was done in unity with the other women in the village, she was excluded from doing so due to the shame she represented as a five-times divorced woman and because her current partner was not her husband. 

One day at the well, she was greeted by Jesus, who was a Jew. Although Samaritans and Jews were known enemies, Jesus was no enemy to her. He acknowledged her as a woman, spoke to her respectfully and saw the real her. This encounter deeply validated her and made such an impact within her that something completely unlocked inside her. She ran back to the village with a different mindset—one full of confidence and purpose. She spoke with everyone she encountered and told them they needed to meet this man named Jesus. 

This Samaritan woman led a group of people back to the well where Jesus was waiting, becoming the bridge that connected these Samaritans to Jesus at this village. Underneath the shame, pain, and unworthiness felt by this woman,  there was an amazing leader–one full of passion, fearlessness and the capacity to approach her adversaries and speak with newfound authority. 

The Woman by the Well is a hero, whose name will never be known,  and whose story has proliferated across generations reminding others of her bravery; her redemption. She is a true reminder that no matter our status, our shameful past, or our pain, we all have powerful capabilities, gifts, and a hero within us, strong enough to move mountains, impact others, and leave a legacy. 

The Woman by the Well might not have a name, but she had a voice that transcended time, and has spoken into my soul.  

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