The Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 met with Jesus, and then she ran away to the nearby town, where she became quite the evangelist. I have been pondering what her reason was for running away. This is something we discussed at our small-group meeting this evening as we were pondering different steps in the growth of newly-planted churches (yeah - we jump topics a lot)
Here are two reasons we came up with as a group with one of my own added:
1. She was so excited that she met the Messiah that she had to go tell others.
2. She was hurt because the disciples treated her like the loose woman she had been instead of the free woman she had just become, and she ran away in embarrassment.
3. She felt the weight of her sin and couldn't stand in front of the Messiah a second longer - she ran away when she was struck by the comparison of her sin with His Majesty.
I really think any of these are possible.
Why she ran away doesn't matter as much as the fact that she did. In her running, she was able to tell others (other loose women? those "husbands?") who she had met and bring the whole town back with her.
Beth Moore says, "When you feel like your own mistakes added insult to injury in your circumstances, you're more prone to hang your head in prayer than to lift it in full expectation of God's forgiveness and full redemption" (Stepping Up, pg. 126). The Samaritan woman didn't come to the well expecting anything except some water to use for washing clothes or cleaning dishes or making lunch. All she was planning to do was her job - and all she expected to get from her trip the the well was the fruit of her labor. But she met Jesus. And like so many others, she got more than she bargained for.
She was washed clean. Praise God for His reviving, Living Water.