Jesus sits by Jacob’s well and asks a Samaritan woman for a drink of water. The Samaritans were considered inferior to Jews so he was breaking with the custom of his day. Jesus goes on to tell the woman about the living water within, which she does not understand. He reveals to her that he is aware she currently has no husband and has had five husbands. She thinks he must be a prophet and goes back to her townspeople and tells of this encounter. (John 4:3-31)
Dave and I will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary this Sunday. People have asked me what is your secret? Others have suggested we put on workshops and seminars, write books about how to create and keep a marriage strong through all the joys and challenges we face in life.
I recall ten years into our marriage, even though we were a happy and successful with careers and two lovely children, I felt there was something missing, and I knew the “something” was a spiritual relationship. We had gone to various churches, and decided that worshiping a cultural deity outside ourselves made no sense to us and so went to the gym instead. And then the car accident happened and turned our superficial perfect lives upside down.
Having been in a coma for a week and recovering from this ordeal took over a year. There was plenty of time to “sit at the well of Jacob” and be still and notice that within myself was a mystery I had never bothered to explore. I had been so ill that one of the nursing aids who came to my home suggested I learn card games, as I would probably never really recover. When I heard that, I decided it was time to finish my degree at Oakland University. It was as if my consciousness had expanded and my sense of Presence amplified and I knew if I moved slowly, living one moment at a time I could do this.
From this slowness, I noticed every taste of food. I noticed how beautiful the faces of my children were; I noticed the smells of the flowers; I noticed the sound of an egg cracking against the side of a pan; I noticed, when I drove to the University the lovely curvature of the landscape; I noticed the synchronicity of life; how parking spots opened and classes were held at the times that worked for me. Mostly I noticed that I was surrounded by a Presence of Love in every moment and I appreciated how Dave continuously gave me and our family support during this recuperation.
If I were to write a book or give a workshop on the secrets to a strong marriage, it would have to start with being conscious long enough to appreciate the five senses (husbands) we all have; Sit each day at Jacob’s well, listening, noticing, appreciating, tasting, feeling all that is appearing in our lives now. Drink in this Living water Jesus speaks of and then like the Samaritan woman go and tell your townspeople; What this means is like Myrtle Fillmore did, go and tell every cell of your being that you are supported and capable and worthy of love just as you are.
Maryann Williamson writes in Tears to Triumph “Our purpose on the earth is to see every moment as an opportunity to love.
Jesus said to Peter, “On this rock I will build my church.” That church is not built with bricks and mortar, That church is the Temple of our consciousness, the temple of your heart and my heart. When we enter into an awareness of Spirit, our heartbeat en-trains with the rhythmically beating heartbeat of our Mother. And when that occurs we realize every relationship is an expression of the One relationship. The ego says, “what can I get from the world.” the Spirit says, “what can I give to the world.”
Join us in our celebration this Sunday.