When Your Spirit Feels Dry as Bones

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There remain a few quiet mornings before the start of school, and while I debate the merits of waking the kids up to help them adjust to an earlier schedule, I like the silence too much. I don’t know where summer has gone–the days disappeared into a haze of humidity, beach days, and car exhaust.

I’ve spent very little time reading my Bible this summer. My spirit is dry as bones, but my heart feels full from conversation and time together with my kids. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other, but I’ve never been good at balancing summer days. The simplest things sometimes feel like a high wire act.

This week, I entered back into my Bible by reading through the book of John. Just me and Jesus and John’s voice narrating the story. I think John must have been a gentle, contemplative disciple because I feel at home with his words. In his account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, he tells of their exchange with so much dignity and grace, in spite of his reservations. (The disciples “marveled” that Jesus talked with a woman.)

Sitting within the pages of their conversation, one I have heard and read countless times in my over-churched years, I’m struck by how Jesus’ words continue to breathe from the page. They breathed life to a woman sitting at a well two thousand years ago, and they breathe life to a woman sitting in a green armchair surrounded by bookshelves and red-letter words centuries later.

After her encounter with Jesus, John says the woman left her water pot and went straight to the men of her city and witnessed to them. He goes on to say, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified…” (John 4:39)

Her faith continues to testify to me today. Woman to woman. What an honor Jesus bestowed on her–to receive and then preach the good news of the messiah. It gives me hope that regardless of my own poor choices or gender or shaky voice, my life is a testimony to the saving power of Jesus.

I offer living water when I offer up my own life as a testimony–whether through my words, actions, or through simply showing up in a spirit of love for all of the conversations and daily needs and car rides to town. Too often, I complicate it with notions of doing “big things” when I have yet to master testifying through the small, the daily.

Sitting beside the well today, the centuries between us folded in on themselves, and I found in the Samaritan woman, a friend. A kindred spirit, looking for a drink of living water. And the skeleton of my spirit rattled back to life.

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  • Jenn Tanaka

    Beautifully written! In this new season may we shake off the dust and fill our spirits back up with the living waters.