What's On Your Blanket?

I love that cotton commercial, “The fabric of your life.” The business world touts on our humanity through this implicit message - we are many threads woven together with many colors, textures, weights and sizes.
My blanket has a lot of stains on it. I have lumps in my fabric. The pieces just never get smooth no matter how much I iron them. Some spots are worn clear through by the colors of my past. There are holes that I cannot repair. I can wash my blanket over and over, but it will never be brand new again.
When I’ve absolutely lost all hope because of the stains in the fabric of my life, I come to rest at that well and talk to Jesus. I just want to hear the music and dance a little.
The Woman of Samaria had lots of stains in her fabric. She didn’t hang out with the other women of the community. She waited until late in the day to come to the well to retrieve water. She was alone. She was afraid. She thought that no one cared about her.
Let’s go back and eavesdrop on that conversation from John 4…

“Hi, would you mind giving me a drink? I’ve been on the road for quite some time and the dust in my throat is really thick.” he said.
Shocked at even being spoken to she whispered, “Why would you ask me for a drink? I’m a Samaritan woman and you are a Jewish man. Why would you even talk to me?”
“If you knew who I was, you wouldn’t be surprised,” he answered. “As a matter of fact, there is water that is the newest, most wonderful thing - it will satisfy your thirst so you will never be thirsty again.”
“I’m not sure what you mean. You don’t even have a bucket or a cup to put water into and this well is really deep. How do you expect to get this wonderful stuff from this deep well, and who are you again?” she asks.
“Well, if you depend on the water from this well to quench all your thirst, you will always be thirsty. But if you take this new water from a stream that is overflowing, you don’t even need a bucket, you just let it run over your soul and you will never be thirsty again,” he said.
“Well, okay, if this is such a great deal, give me some of this “new water” so that I don’t have to keep coming back here every day just to get water for my family. That really would be a great deal,” she responds thinking that maybe this will cut down on her constant trips to the well.
“Go and get your husband and come back. I’ll show you both at the same time,” he says.
“Yo, man. I don’t know who you think you are, but I don’t have a husband,” she replies, with a bit of distain in her voice.
“Well, you are right about that,” Jesus says. “You don’t have just one husband, you’ve had no less than five of them and right now you’re shacking up with another guy.”
“Hmmm. There is no one that knows that much stuff about me. What you’re talking about must be the real deal. If you know so much about my past, you must be able to tell me something about the future. What is this new water you’re talking about?” she’s hooked.

Conversations. This is a two-way dialogue. It’s personal. It’s truthful. When she hears truth, she takes another step toward believing. It’s part of the dance. Just a drink, not a dunk.
Just a conversation beside the well and she believes and becomes a missionary for Jesus. She runs into town and tells them about this Savior of the world because he took time to sit down and have a quiet conversation with her.
Our lives are like a conversation formed by the threads of our past and our present. Breathe in and breathe out. One step forward, two steps back. Two steps forward. One step back. Walk in the ways where Jesus leads us and then go and share it with others through the way we live.
The stains are many; bloodied knees, angry tears, tie dyed ink, chocolate ice cream, baby spit up, rust, lipstick and wine. But what am I without the stains? Do I want to be the perfect new blanket set out for display, or do I want to be used to protect, comfort and cover the wounds of those around me?

Dear Jesus, I know that there are many stains in my life that you put there for a reason. Help me to not just blot them out and forget them; help me to learn something through each stain in my life that I might have conversations with others to weave new character fabrics and be washed in your blood that always restores my spirit. Amen.

Carole Schumacher

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