Updated on February 23, 2014
I know all about you and I still choose to talk to you.
In December 2008, I was cleaning out a closet and came across a book my friend and mentor had recommended to me years earlier, “Journey to the Well” by Vashti McKenzie. I was recently separated from my husband and was searching for “me.” The “me” that got lost somewhere in the midst of life’s junk was buried somewhere beneath the layers of guilt, shame and remorse. I decided to give the book a shot.
The book is based on the story of the Woman at the Well from John 4. Her name isn’t given, but her story is famous. Jesus was traveling and stopped at a well while his friends went into town to buy some food. A woman came to draw water and he asked her to draw him some water to drink. She was immediately taken back because she was a Samaritan and he was a Jew. Jews didn’t associate with her kind. The conversation turned quickly to talk about living water and the Messiah who would come. And then Jesus did something a bit interesting. He told her to go get her husband and then he would finish telling her about the “living water” he could provide that would quench her thirst forever.
“I have no husband,” she replied. “That’s true,” He said. “In fact, you have had five husbands and the man you are with now is not your husband at all.” (John 4:17-18)
The author summed up that conversation with this: “I (Jesus) know all about you and I still choose to talk to you.”
You see, I had been dealing with the shame of two failed marriages and an impending divorce. I could not see how I could ever be loved, accepted or worth anything in the eyes of a man, the church or my Christian community. My sins were far too vast for me to be accepted. I was resigning myself to be forever single and gave up all hope of ever being useful in the church or loved by a man.
Those words she wrote were comfort to me. They still are. Jesus knows all about me yet still chooses to talk to me. He sees me on the inside and the outside. He has walked with me through the valleys of life. He knows my fears and my failures, yet, he loves me, values me and sees in me what I cannot.
The book gave me a challenge: Create a collage with pictures, sayings, and mementos of the life you want to have. Ugh! Really? A kindergarten project? But, I decided to give it a try. Ever the over-achiever, I decided instead to make a scrapbook. I documented memories and scriptures and quotes from the book. It was then, while looking for items to add to my scrapbook, that I came across some silk butterflies in the craft store. I knew instantly those butterflies were a metaphor for my life. They represented who I wanted to be… free and beautiful. I had no idea how meaningful butterflies would become for me. I didn’t know then how long my life would be cocooned in the darkness of my divorce. I just knew that I had begun a journey to finding my worth in Christ and him alone.
There’s so much more to the story and maybe you’ll read more about it here another time. But, I want to encourage you today. It does not matter where you have been or what you have done. Jesus knows all about you and he will still choose to be your friend every day, no matter what. He sees you. He knows you. He will meet you where you are and tell you that you are worth it. There is no shame. There is no need to hide. Bring him all of who you are and let him love you. There’s no better feeling.