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older woman thinking

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I often wonder about the Samaritan woman who had the privilege of meeting Jesus at the well. What was she like before that day? I imagine she was beautiful; so beautiful that she stood out amongst her peers. Yet beneath the surface of her ravishing beauty, was a woman scorned and abhorred by those around her. I imagine she carefully hid a well of emotional pain beneath her veil, and her struggle with depression and low self esteem was safely tucked away from the curious glare of inquisitive eyes.

You see, her life story wasn’t like those of the other women in her village. No, far from it. Her personal life was in shambles and everyone knew it; but instead of embracing her, they derided her and made her the evening walk’s gossip. Undeniably, her hurt ran deep. And though she trained herself to become numb to the pain of rejection, her wounds grew still. And even when she taught herself to endure the heat of the midday sun in order to fetch water in isolation, her wounds grew still. And though to the naked eye she was a sight of beauty, from the viewpoint of the Spirit, she was a walking heap of ashes.

This Samaritan woman had a limp that no one perceived. She had issues that her peers were negligent of, and her value was discounted by everyone who whispered her name in anger. However, that day at the well, when she met with Jesus, her life was transformed and her broken spirit was mended.

For many, the trauma of our pasts act as a prison that holds us bound, and the truth is that many of us walk around hiding deep emotional wounds that fester behind the veil of our smiles. These wounds result from broken relationships, devastating past events, forms of abuse, rape, assault, rejection, abandonment, just to name a few. But Christ sees what we hide inside; He sees the wet pillowcases that bear the evidence that you cry even in your sleep. He sees the pang of rejection you feel whenever your mind drifts to certain memories, and He’s aware of the barriers you erect to protect yourself from ever being hurt again.

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Daily Devotional: “Beauty for Ashes”  was originally published on