I read this morning in John 4 about an encounter that Jesus had with a Samaritan woman at a well. As I read it, the Lord reminded me of an encounter I had with a Samaritan woman, not at a well, but under a lamppost.
I once asked the Lord to give me grace to run, and He did. I now consider myself to be a jogger. If it seems all to easy, it is because it is. Our Father has a sweet tooth for giving good gifts to His children. And He just charges the gifts to the grace account. Grace then declares that there is a jogger inside all of us.
My jogs became time spent with the Holy Spirit. We literally would run together. He is so gracious, and would allow me to think that I was actually setting the pace and agenda for our runs. He would whisper to me during our runs – “turn here”, “run there”. His words would be to me as Hansel and Gretel’s pebbles; forming markers by which I would navigate and plot my way in this journey of life.
A few years ago, I was running on Main Road, Kenilworth in Cape Town. It is not uncommon to see prostitutes on this street, even during an early morning run. As I ran, I saw a such a prostitute ahead. The Lord told me to stop and speak to her. He told me to tell her that Jesus loved her. A short and concise message that had the potential to change her life.
I am usually obedient, but on this particular day I struggled with the instruction. I thought, what would people think to see me speaking to a prostitute? What if they thought I was soliciting her for sex….? I even justified my behaviour by saying that my avoidance was actually honouring God… Mmmm. So, I ran past her. Fast. But, the Holy Spirit, sometimes does His best work with a gentle”drip” rather than by brute force. He just kept breathing on my heart, until I turned around and went back to the lamppost where she stood. I stood before the lady, looked her in the eye, and said: “I just want to let you know that Jesus loves you”. She smiled, and thanked me. With that, I turned to complete my run with the Holy Spirit.
This woman, and much of the world, navigate their lives by a lamppost – that is the wisdom of man. It is the light that guides and illuminates their path. The wisdom of man may say that hanging with the Samaritans of the day is not good for your reputation. And, it may even say that as a representative of Christ, we need to avoid talking to Samaritans, because it may just taint us. Conversely, the Holy Spirit is the Lamppost of our hearts and He is not so much interested in exposing our deeds, but the motive behind our deeds. He judges the spirit of the action rather than the action itself. This would explain why Jesus was comfortable speaking to a Samaritan woman at a well. It is because Jesus was concerned with saving the lost, hurt, and broken, and so this also should be our concern. Christ did not consider His reputation when He was falsely accused, and neither should we.
Please read today’s devotional for more on this subject.