The woman at the well (John 4) drank muddy water.
In our sanitised world of piped and purified water we forget that the social and personal snubs delivered to this woman who chooses to fetch water at the height of heat after the animals have drunk.
The water would have been unsettled. The task would have been gritty. The results too. Mud.
Recently, I’ve been to places in my own life and ministry where I have felt I was scraping the bottom of the well. I’ve been tired, stressed and completely underestimated how a simple change of leadership in a parish can cause so much disruption in peoples lives.
My well has been muddied. Trying to get any refreshment has been a hard task. The water I bring up is not potable. I was called to task this week by two brave young people who asked why I seemed to have lost the plot.
My well had become muddy.
I look forward to a break. In South Africa, we’ve come to our summer shut-down and the death of our beloved President Mandela has caused the country to shut down a few days earlier. I have closed the parish office from next week with the comment that unless you’re dead, dying or have a death-wish, don’t come. It’s an exaggeration, of course, but the switch of modes to go-slow and informal is desperately needed – for all of us, so that our waters may settle once again and allow what is drawn up to be clear and refreshing.