Entertaining A Stranger – Part II

water runing
Samantha awoke to find herself propped up in a lounger on her back porch.  
The stranger was standing next to her.  He handed her a bottle of water.  She took it and drank, drawing the cool water in deeply.  She could not get enough of it.  It tasted like life itself.  Finally she stopped drinking and spoke.
“I must have passed out from the heat.  I had the strangest dream…I am so sorry, I guess I drank all the water I gave you.  I didn’t realize I was so dehydrated.” 
“Here Samantha,” he offered.  “Drink more….the water I offer you is living water, if you drink the water I give you will never be thirsty again…it will become a wellspring of water that will flow up into eternal life.”
She looked up from the bottle to see him staring right into her eyes.  She turned away, confused.
He spoke to her again very kindly.
“You were not dreaming dear one.  I told you I have heard your prayers; you finally called on me and I answered. My promise is to those who call on the name of the Lord; they will be saved….I always keep my promises….and I will love you with an everlasting love.
Her stomach began to wretch as the enormity of the moment took over her. She thought, “I am losing my mind….”
“I feel sick…” she declared.
“Yes, I know, I have come to heal the sick….”
Defiantly she shook her head. “I don’t understand, why did you say you love me? How could you? You could not love me or forgive me if you knew what I have done…” she whispered, and she began to quietly cry again.
With tenderness he responded, “How I have wanted to protect you and pull you under my wing as a mother hen does her chicks….”.  

But you would not have me; you determined to go your own way. Your choices broke your heart, but they broke mine as well. 

“Why didn’t you stop me then? she asked.
“It is not that I could not; it is that I will not.  Samantha, what kind of love would it be if I forced you to love me, to follow my will not your will?  That is not love.  That is coercion. True love requires me to give you free will; then and only then can you choose to love me, as I have loved you from the beginning.”
“Child, look at me.”  he demanded.
She saw his dark eyes fill with compassion and a tear roll down his cheek.  There was a deep sadness in him; she began to weep uncontrollably.  He sighed and drew her close to him, holding her hand in his.  
“Will you trust in me now?”  he asked.
“It just couldn’t be that simple.  I don’t deserve this.  I have done the unthinkable!”
Still holding her hand, he opened it and laid his palm atop hers.  
“Look Samantha, look at my hand. Do you see these scars?  What else do you see?  It is your name, dear one.  YOUR NAME is written on my hand.  
“Please,” she cried out.  “Please help me understand.”
Patiently he explained.  “Samantha, there is no greater love than to lay down one’s own life for another.  I have done this for you.  I paid your ransom, the price of your mistakes with my own life. I had to.  I created you in my image, so how can I depart from myself?”  
“So you will forgive me?” she asked. 
“I will if you ask me.  My beloved, I am the God of second and third chances….I AM the living God.  I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  I will cast your sins as far as the east is to the west.
He continued,  “Child, if you seek me, you will find me when YOU seek me with all your heart. Confess to me with your mouth and believe in your heart that I am the Son of God and you will be saved.  You will be more than my creation, you will be my daughter, the daughter of a King.  I promise you my Spirit will come and dwell in you. I will change you from the inside out and make you a new creation.   You will be born again, not in the flesh, but in Spirit.  I will remove your heart of stone, Samantha and put a new Spirit in you.”

She knew He had spoken the truth. 

She stopped crying.  Something inside her changed.  She felt free.  She felt hope.    
She believed.  
Samantha slid from the lounge and onto her knees. With a bowed head and a contrite heart she called on Him, “Please Jesus, I do not want to live my life this way.  I am selfish and sinful and am guilty…I am broken.  Please, take my pain away. Please…forgive me and change me.  Let it no longer be my will but yours, Lord.”
She once again found herself crying so hard she could not breathe.

She stayed like that for what seemed like hours, purging her heart, body and soul from all the darkness she carried.  When she finally stopped…the evening had turned into night. 

Samantha realized she was alone and jumped up and flipped on the porch light.  How long had she been out here?  Did this really happen?  She took a deep breath and smelled the sweetness of the summer air….the wet loamy smell of fresh cut grass, the fragrant roses on the back trellis…
Everything seemed so new to her…like her senses were on overdrive.  “Look at the moon”, she thought, as she noticed its bright effervescent light reflecting through the last of the skidding summer clouds in the night sky.  It was breathtaking.  She stood peacefully in the gathering coolness. No more tears.  No more brokenness.  She was renewed and she felt Him near.
“Oh God,” she said out loud.  “Thank you.  Thank You for loving me, even though I don’t deserve it, thank you for your forgiveness, thank you for the second chance…” she broke off.  She heard the doorbell ring in the house…she gasped, remembering she had guests coming for dinner!
Quickly turning to go inside, she knocked into the table and launched a full bottle of water to the porch floor.  The cap was still on.  “Hmmm, that is odd,”  she thought.  She picked it up…and opened it….and then she remembered what He said.

The water I offer is Living water….

She smiled and took a healthy drink from it…knowing she would never be thirsty again.

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