Woman at the well

Early one morning when I walked around the neigbourhood I saw a woman at a well. It wasn’t really a well but a pump beside her house close to a very polluted river. Her modest home was only a few feet away from the river in an area that displayed all the signs of abject poverty. She was fully clothed and washing herself. She took buckets of water she had drawn up out of the ground and poured them over her head. Once she was thoroughly drenched she began to scrub herself. When there is no privacy there is also no opportunity to relish the sensuousness of life. What pleasure would she derive from warm water gently cascading down her naked body in a private bathroom?

When I saw the woman at the well a passage from the gospel of John 4 came to mind. Jesus who met a woman at a well said, “everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again but whomever drinks the water I give will never thirst . Indeed the water I give will become a living spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” I pray that all of Cambodia will find and accept this living water so men and women don’t have to go to the well again and again and again to be refreshed and cleansed.

Brian Maan


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