A Woman at a Well (Psalm)

Living Water

You may not know Charity Chambers but she is an up an coming poet. Unfortunately, she has no blog so it is hard to read her work. The good news is that she gave me permission to publish this poem. I think you will like it even if you’re not into poetry.

A Woman at a Well
By Charity Chambers

I was almost there,
I needed one more day.
I was following a vision,
and I was on my way.

Chasing after this dream,
I joined a mighty throng,
“If only…” was our anthem,
to this world did we belong.

Our thirst for happy living
kept us coming to this well.
But the waters left us thirsty;
that we’d drunk, we could not tell.

If only we drink faster!
If only we drink more!
We must get a bigger bucket!

And soon joy became a chore.

In the waters we no longer found
the satisfaction that we sought.
Still we drank, and deeply,
trusting joy these waters brought.

Then one day as I was drinking
of the water of the well,
a man sat down beside me.
The things that he could tell!

He first spoke to me of water,
his was living, so he said.
I couldn’t understand him,
Did he mean that mine was dead?

He seemed to fully know me;
he’d been watching all the time.
He showed me what I looked like,
that I now lived in crime.

I perceived that he was wise,
but still he didn’t understand.
I may not quite be worthy,
but I do the best I can.

“I worship on this mountain,
I give to God his due.
Because I’ve never seen his temple,
is there more that I must do?”

I trusted that I’d shown him,
there was nothing he could say.
But if only I had known him,
on my lips my hand would lay.

He said the moment hastened
when I would not be simple.
I’d not worship on my mountain,
nor yet in Jerusalem’s temple.

He said my worship was vanity,
for salvation was of the Jews.
My face grew hot in shame
as I thought “this is not news.”

A child of illegitimacy,
how did I even think
that of life containing water
I could ever drink?

At once I was in confusion,
I stammered, then sat still.
My gaze fell on my waters
and I thought I’d drunk my fill.

He didn’t seem to notice,
for uninterrupted still he spoke.
And when he’d finally finished,
My heart I knew he’d broke.

For he said the time had come
when false worship was at an end.
I knew with painful conviction
that this rule I could not bend.

He said that God, who is a Spirit,
seeks for worship of one sort:
spirit and truth must meet
and fall adoring in His court.

At last, gathering my courage,
I spoke loudly, to be heard.
“I know Christ, Messiah’s coming
and Truth will be his Word.”

Oh! How I should have known it!
I suspected it must be.
The man for whom we waited said,
“I that speak to thee am He!”

The pitcher I’d been holding
slipped unheeded to the ground,
and tumbled, spilling the water.
At last, true joy I’d found!

I rushed back to my village
with marvelous news to tell!
I found my friends still drinking
the dead water of the well.

Excitedly I told them
to hurry up and see!
Jesus Christ had come,
and the things he said to me!

The whole village turned out,
their parched throats drove them on.
Christ spoke to all who’d listen,
And for some, all doubt was gone.

Others wouldn’t listen.
Still others laughed and mocked.
They went back to their water,
and to us no longer talked.

But we no longer cared
for their water or their well.
We found the living spring,
and now in joy would dwell.

Thomas Umstattd Jr. is the author of Courtship in Crisis, the former head of PracticalCourtship.com, and co-founder of the Austin Rhetoric Club, a homeschool speech and debate club in Austin, Texas. He is a professional speaker and CEO of Author Media. He sits on the board of directors for several nonprofits, including the Texas Alliance for Life.

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