To the man at CVS,
I heard you graciously ask me if I’d like to go ahead of you when the lady in the express line told me she was closed. And I responded, “No, it’s okay. I’m not in a hurry” and then added, “as long as you’re not buying 100 things.” :) And you said, “Nope, just my girl there…” and nodded toward a 24 pack of Bud Light resting on a median of last minute items that CVS hopes we’ll be enticed to buy.
And I saw the look in your eyes,
empty tender pain of perhaps years of being beaten down.
And you went on to say, “Gotta find a way to feel…” and trailed off remembering a bruised past that is invisible to me, and all those around you. Noticing the moment and the weightiness of your own words, you quickly lightened the load that now was bearing down on both of us as I realized there was so much more history, hurt, just more…chained to your leg, your life, your eyes… you went on to tell me that a case lasts awhile when you drink it by yourself… and perhaps you noticed sadness creep into my eyes… so you said, “But with the guys it goes quick. Ya know, cuz they don’t care that it’s the cheap stuff…”
You said a few other things, as did I-
but it’s what I didn’t say
that breaks my heart.
The words “Living Water” were coming to life in my mouth. I could feel them stretching, warming up and making their way to the tip of my tongue – ready to dive into your heart but,
I didn’t know what I’d say next,
so I said nothing.
If you would have started walking into a busy street- I would have ran after you, screamed anything – to try to get your attention and save your life, but because you’re quietly, sipping your life away-
I didn’t help you.
I’m so sorry that I cared more about what the man with the southern accent in front of you would think and the old woman who left a trail of toothpicks as she walked toward the exit…
So instead of telling you about a Person who could give you living water, so you’d never be thirsty again- I stayed silent,
I prayed all day that God would bring someone else into your life more bold than I… I’m praying you can one day soon drink from a well that will never run dry and experience a relationship with the One who will never let you down, and who holds your tears in bottles, and heals all your diseases, and forgives all your past mistakes, and says “Fear not, my child, fear not.”
It’s been a week since I met you, man in the CVS store, but along with apologizing – I want to say thank you. I’m praying I’ll see you again, but if I don’t, I hope you know that God has used you to teach me to simply open my mouth, to speak and to trust Him to provide the words- and since last week I’ve had at least 3 conversations where I did get to share about Jesus – the One who provides Living Water. I wouldn’t have been so bold if you wouldn’t have been so real with me. Praying for you.
With the love of Christ,
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” -John 7:37-39
The Samaritan woman said to Him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”
Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. -John 4:9-13