I often have very detailed dreams that linger long after I wake. One such dream was of a woman who had spent many years on the streets doing whatever she had to survive, selling a piece of her soul little by little every day until there was nothing really left. The King, a wise and compassionate ruler who loved his people, longed to get away from the business of the running the kingdom and would often travel in his land dressed as a commoner. He was on one of his trips and ended up in the wrong side of town at the wrong time of night. To make a long dream a little shorter he was left for dead after a robbery gone bad. He was beaten and bleeding when the lady of the night found him. There was still a little compassion left in her and she reached out to what she thought was one of the fallen like her, and she nursed him back to health.
When he was strong enough he reclaimed his rightful place and then searched for his benefactor to reward her kindness. When he found her at last on the street plying her trade she instantly recognized him as both the king and the man she rescued. Embarrassed and full of shame she fled. Chasing her until she turned, fell on her knees and begged him not to come any closer. He did anyway and offered all manner of rewards. She refused them all, thinking that she was not worthy. The king finally kneeled in the filth of the alley and gently took the woman by the hand.
“My dear,” he whispered, “there you sit as simply a woman, I command you to rise as a lady you are free of any past and future debt as they are now mine. From this day forward you shall be known throughout the land as my bride to be.”
In tears the woman stood and ceased to be the woman of the night. My dream ended as I heard the phrase handing back humanity. Jesus did the same thing every time He forgave some one of their sins. We are to be Christ-like. It is our duty to carry the gift of forgiveness and freedom to all in bondage and hand back their humanity. I was struck with the parallel to John chapter 4.
“He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” (John 4)
In this time of year when we are thinking of giving and receiving we should all remember the greatest gift that was given to mankind, Jesus. He came small and without much fanfare, lived a humble life that led to an ignoble death on a cross. He died so that we could live. We are that woman and Jesus is the king! Merry Christmas!
Pastor AL Weeks and his family serve in First Baptist Church of Kenai. The folks at First Baptist are a warm fellowship of believers that are committed to speaking the truth in love. Join them Sunday mornings at 10:45 a.m.