Thirsty for Friendship: Meditation on the Woman at the Well

Few things are louder than thirst in the presence of water.

(Take a wander through the first part of John 4 with me.)

He came to Sychar and sat by Jacob’s well. He was tired, worn out and it was noon.

She was thirsty tired. The kind of thirsty that threatens to kill you unmercifully slow. The water was near, but not enough. It was offered and then refused. Maybe it was dirty, insufficient, disjoined, rancid. She had tried to quench her thirst. After six partners she tried to drink from the well of friendship. Rejection runs deep when there’s no water to be found.  

He asked her for a drink. Risky proposition perhaps, her skepticism told her truth. “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” I wonder if this is the real question on her mind. Another chance at connection? She’s wise to check his credentials.

He stayed with her stride for stride. Never balked at her skepticism, never reprimanded her for her wisdom. He gave her what he had—a conversation, attention, awareness, the water of friendship. Everliving friendship. “…those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.”

“Never be thirsty?” she must have thought. What a promise. Sounds like a 2am infomercial. He understood her skepticism and risked his own vulnerability. He told her the truth about herself. Right then she could have walked away. Truth can do that, you know—push us away.

But she took a chance… seventh time is a charm… right?

“Give me this water,” she almost dared him. 


For some of us the holidays are so darn thirsty. There isn’t enough eggnog, or presents, or parties, or family, or friends, or church services, or shopping to quench our thirst. I don’t know if it’s the false promise of plenty of relational water or too many perfectly ending Christmas shows? Or maybe something in the fruitcake.

Maybe we’ve lost someone and the thirst from his or her absence is more companion than stranger.

For my own soul, God taking on flesh and moving into the neighborhood tastes like a drink of clear water.[1] It looks like a friendship that meets me stride for skeptical stride. It sounds risky and truthful.  

Maybe you are thirsty for friendship too. The invitation has been given. The journey to us by God has been made. You are not alone. Whatever truth you are facing can be faced with this friend at your side.

Like all friendships this one starts and deepens with a conversation. Can you hear Jesus say to you, “Are you thirsty? Would you like a little living water?”


What do you say?






If this blog has spoken to you check out Beyond Loneliness by my friend Trevor Hudson. Will be released on Feb. 1st. You can preorder it on Amazon. I very much recommend it.  


[1] John 1:14 MSG The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.
We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.