Broken, Exposed, Resurrected: A 12-Step Journey thru Lent: Week 3

Acceptance and Healing at the well
A well with a tiled roof and a bucket ready for drawing water sits in a summer green field. Image courtesy of Mabel Amber via Pixabay.

Acceptance of our selves and all that has made us into who we are, can be a challenge. Inviting God into the hard places and the pain, can make it a bit easier.


John’s Gospel is complex and wasn’t ever meant to be an accurate historical record of Jesus’ life and ministry. The stories in John are often more detailed and compelling, though unlikely to have occurred particularly as they are written. The story of the Samaritan woman who meets Jesus at the well is a perfect example.

Who knows if Jesus ever met such a woman and had a conversation like the one in John 4? There is much to learn from such an encounter – about Jesus and about ourselves. The woman went to the well in the middle of the day to avoid the scornful looks from other villagers. Yet, she found Jesus at the well.

In the midst of the confusing conversation about Living Water, the woman discovered something just as powerful as whatever it was Jesus was talking about, perhaps even that very Living Water itself. She discovered acceptance. Unlike the people in her village, Jesus accepted the fullness of who she was. Her previous five husbands and her current companion did not scare Jesus away.

He broke tradition and a few laws to show this woman her value and invite her to claim it. And to invite us to recognize and claim our own. Earlier this week I shared some spiritual practices that might help you along the way. Acceptance of ourselves and others can be an ongoing challenge.

As always, if this season in already heavy for you, do what you need to do to take care of yourself. These practices are suggestions if you are looking for new ways to engage with Lent this year. There is a lot happening in the world and in our community. It’s okay just to be still. In fact, stillness may be the best gift you could give yourself this season.

We continue this journey together. May your wilderness wandering be blessed with healing and hope.

About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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3 thoughts on “Broken, Exposed, Resurrected: A 12-Step Journey thru Lent: Week 3”

  1. “There is a lot happening in the world and in our community. It’s okay just to be still. In fact, stillness may be the best gift you could give yourself this season.”

    This is helpful. I have a tendency to do more when things are stressful. Then I don’t have as much time be present with my more difficult feelings.

    Stillness is a good spiritual practice for me.

  2. I keep thinking about Pastor R’s fact about the high percentage of people who are unable to function due to stress. You’d think that being in Florida and not having to deal with your long, snowy, rainy and cold winter would be be the perfect escape from depression and high levels of stress. in so ways that is true. Yet I still harbor anxiety, heart ache, and find myself entertaining negative thoughts. The news about Barb has been extremely difficult. When I heard she had a brain tumor I was SOOO ANGRY.

    • Barb, while I image the sunny, warmth of Florida can help alleviate some stress, it doesn’t do much for the heavy heart ache of grief. I’m glad you are reaching out here and inviting community support.


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