The story below is a portion of a paper I wrote a few years ago for my Christian Scriptures course at the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University. The paper was an exegetical exploration of the Gospel text from John 4:1-42 (Jesus and the woman of Samaria). I won’t reproduce my theologizing, rather here is a creative piece that tells a story of a homeless woman–a real woman I met while working at a shelter in Delaware. I’ve shortened the original text to a more manageable blog size. Infused with elements of stories from others, her voice speaks for many who have no voice in this society…
The scene: a Woman sits, with her head bowed, tears running down her cheeks
I love my children very much; they mean the world to me. It was because of them that I left him. Some have asked why I didn’t stay, why I didn’t just “work things out.” They say I should have stuck with it. Well, he is an alcoholic and an abuser, you see. There was a point that I just couldn’t take it anymore—the yelling, the drinking and the constant fighting. One day, I thought he was at work, but when he came home sick, I found out he had spent the whole day getting drunk at a bar. He pretended to go to work and had the nerve to come home “sick”!
He hit me, and I tried to take it; I had to be strong for my three children. There were some good times, too. Maybe that’s why I stayed so long. I thought if I could only make things right, keep everything together, he’d change. But like I said, there was a point when I just couldn’t take it anymore and pretend everything was fine. It was like waking up from a nightmare, but the nightmare was reality. That was when I said enough, and I walked out the door—out of my life, away from my job, away from my friends, and all things comforting. I walked out and I stepped into a hostile world, drowning in an angry sea of pain and confusion. Continue reading “A Story of Thirst”