God did Adam a solid when he made Eve. Later Christ did mankind a solid when he “gently lifted women out of shame and restored their honor.” (Kristi Mclelland)
God created Eve to be a companion and a co-laborer with Adam. They worked the garden, they made babies, and walked together with God. Then we all know what happened next, the big bad snake entered from the pit of hell. He meant to defame Eve and make Adam look weak.
The over analysis of the fall of man from this moment in time has been done. Now, let’s look at how Jesus used what was meant for evil for good.
In her study Jesus & Women, Kristi Mclelland brought a fresh read on the woman at the well. John 4 tells us, it was noon and a Samaritan woman came to draw water from the well. In biblical times women generally went to the well in groups (for community and protection) in the early morning, before the heat of the day. So, when we read that this woman went alone at noon, this is our cue to be curious as to what’s going on.
Jesus asked for a drink crossing a cultural line because we all were taught that Jews didn’t interact with Samaritans. No new news there. After they discussed “living water” Jesus asked for the woman to bring her husband. Just in case you need a refresher (as sometimes I do) Jesus knows EVERYTHING.
He called out her shame. Jesus was willing to connect with her despite being divorced 5 times. Unlike others who couldn’t be seen with her (cue: terrible women who made her go to the well alone). In this woman’s time, men could divorce a woman for a number of shallow reasons, like burning the toast, according to Mclelland. So, the shame this woman carried was put on her in large part by the men who divorced her. It caused her to be alone in the world. Something that surely makes life much more difficult.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the man she was currently with wasn’t her husband. Which dishonors and shames this woman even further. The people of her village follow by calling her by her shame, but Jesus looks at her with dignity beyond her shame and restores her honor. How? By revealing to her that he is the Messiah.
Imagine yourself as this woman. Walking into church with such a well-known history. I remember when I miscarried our 3rd pregnancy, feeling shame wondering what people thought of me when I walked into church after I recovered. Even though my experience was a natural thing, I still felt undignified, making it hard to interact with others for a time.
After the woman’s interaction with Jesus she ran off to the village to tell people who she met at the well. Now what is interesting to me is that she is now calling out her own shame instead of being buried beneath it (John 4:29). There is such beauty in reading this scripture in this way. The message I’ve been clinging to is that Jesus restored her honor by calling out her shame and revealing himself to her.
Stories like this are why I created We Sojourners. A place for Christian women to do life together where shame and regrets no longer inform how we see the world, but where we offer and receive encouragement to live a God honoring life.
Jesus’s example of restoring the woman at the well gives me confidence for today’s Christian woman to walk with deep self worth unashamed of where she came from and strong in her understanding that Christ came to set her free to be just who God created her to be.
If you’d like to know more about We Sojourners and how its poised to help Christian women build deeper relationships with themselves, God and others click this LINK as I reveal more about this vision as well as extend an invitation for you to become a vital part of this incredible calling to restore women in a most beautiful way.