I’ve been learning more from the example of Hop Dog (nickname), the caterpillar I mentioned last week. If you haven’t read that post, click here. Bear with me if you think reading about a caterpillar is a bit weird. 🙂
I mentioned in closing that he had begun to spin his cocoon. Well, on returning home that day, I looked to see how far he had got. Turns out he had completely enclosed himself in a leaf, tightly sealing himself inside, a safe place for what is to come. And what is to come? A wonderful and dynamic transformation that comes from within.
There’s something I realised at this point. When I found him, I think he was searching. Searching for a safe place. The perfect place for transformation. In doing what we did, it turns out he found the safe place he was looking for. He found that safe place as we had provided that place for him.
This is what I see Jesus is doing with the woman at the well. It wasn’t the well that was important. That was a physical place. It was the One who was at the well. The woman approaches, Jesus speaks with her (this is important, not talks to her or at her, but speaks WITH her), and she responds. As the conversation unfolds, she is searching. Searching for the safe place.
She finds her safe place. The safe place is Jesus himself. He is drawing her into himself, so that she is safe and knows that she can begin the process of transformation without fear or worry. He reveals to her where this transformation begins. It is from within. He shows her that what he gives her will become in her a spring of living water. Just as he says that unless we eat and drink of him we have no life IN us. This transformation is bubbling up, springing up, bursting forth from within!
I see this is what Jesus is doing with others. Jesus himself is the safe place for this harvest of transformation. And now, as those who are conscious of Christ in us, we are to provide a safe place for people to begin this inner transformation. We are to protect, to embrace, to nurture. We are to encourage people not just to make a decision to follow Jesus, but to provide the safe place for the Life to be revealed in them which will transform them. The safe place, Jesus himself, is also the transforming Life within every person. As he is revealed in us, so he must be revealed in others too. That is the purpose of a safe place for a harvest of transformation.
This safe place is a relaxing place. Somewhere to let go, to put down our water pots, and to experience Living Water. I was told the other day that Emmaus can be interpreted as “a warm bath.” Josephus says this: “Now Emmaus, if it be interpreted, may be rendered ‘a warm bath,’ for therein is a spring of warm water useful for healing.” We have been seeing people drawn to Jesus himself. There has been a strong sense of Jesus creating a safe place, an oasis of peace, or a warm bath of healing enabling this inner transformation of Christ being revealed in them. Sometimes we are waiting for them as Jesus does for the woman at the well. Sometimes we are walking with them as he does with the two disciples on the road to the ‘warm bath of healing.’ But always we are looking for Christ to be revealed in others.
This is what Father is doing. And therefore what Jesus is doing. And consequently what we are doing. If we are conscious of anything, let us continue to be conscious of the Life within us and that he is drawing people to himself, the safe place for true, dynamic inner transformation. He is the warm bath of healing, the oasis of Peace. He is the spring of Living Water bubbling up within.
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water.