If you’ve spent some time in your Bible or in church, you’ve probably come across a woman that we affectionately call “the woman at the well.” The story of this Samaritan woman is found in John Chapter 4. Jesus met this woman at the well when he came for a drink.
We are told that this woman had had five husbands, and she was currently living with a man who was not her husband. Girls, this was a broken women. Can you imagine all of the rejection she felt having been through 5 husbands and now with one who did not want to fully embrace her as wife? She was also a Samaritan and the Samaritans were rejected by the Jews solely on the basis of their race. She was living with all of this rejection and pain without knowing the love of a Heavenly Father. She was crumbling on the inside, much like the well that she was drawing from.
I’m wondering, what did she look like? Was she well dressed? Did she try to fool Jesus by her modest apparel and sensible makeup? Did she smile and make small talk as if all was well in her world? Did she brush him off and say “I’m fine” as he tried to engage her in truthful conversation?
Jesus shares with this outcast that he can give her living water that can lead to eternal life. He reveals to her that He is the Messiah and HER Messiah. But he also “calls her bluff” and tells her that he knows that she is faking it. He tells her that he knows about her 5 previous husbands and the man that she is living with.
I think many of us, like this Samaritan woman, are really good at faking it. We are hiding layers of brokenness under neat clothing, polite conversations, and smiles and nods at the appropriate times. “I’m fine” has become the refrain to a song that plays like a broken record in our lives. Being authentic is not safe and comfortable for us.
I confess, I fake it, too. Probably my worst moment of acting was when I told a friend at church “I’m fine” through my tears.
There was a recent Wednesday morning when I had a migraine. I cleared my calendar so that I could stay home and rest. But as Wednesday evening approached, I had a decision to make: would I continue to stay at home and rest and recover, or “push through” and go to church. I decided to “push through.”
Shortly after I arrived at church my migraine returned. I greeted my friends at church as I smiled and lied through my teeth:
I made it until worship started without letting on that I was sick. But once worship started, I could no longer hold it together. At the feet of Jesus, I vomited up all of my frustration and weariness and physical pain. I wept at His feet. Because even though I might be able to fake it in front of you, I can’t fake it in front of Jesus.
Oh Jesus, we are so thankful that you know us inside and out. You know us through and through. And the moment we step into your presence, we know that we can be authentic. Real. Transparent. Vulnerable. We have no need to fake it in front of you, because you genuinely want to know about our pain. You want to know about our weariness and our frustration and our disappointment. You care, and we are safe with you.
I don’t know the answer to “faking it” but I want brave but broken women to truly be honest about their lives. I want us to extend more grace and love to those that are hurting instead of turning a deaf ear because we don’t know how to respond. Maybe in our loss for words we can just say, “I care. I don’t know how to make it better for you, but I do care.”
I’m really scared about posting this. I would much rather keep my moment where I lost it with Jesus between Jesus and me.
But this brave but broken woman is going to hit “Publish” because if we all keep faking it, nothing will change. And Girls, I want us to have the freedom to be authentic. That is God’s heart for you, my friend.
Please leave me a comment, and let me know what you think the solution to “faking it” might be.