FACE TO FACE
HEART TO HEART
Jesus sat with the women beside the well and offered living water. (John 4:1-26) For her that day, living water may have been that someone was willing to know her story. It was not a pretty story, probably not one she talked about to anyone. Probably it was a story that got talked about behind her back. For her, living water is being understood. No hiding or pretending. She was able to be real, painfully real, but also found relief in being known, known by someone she could trust.
If Jesus sat down beside the well with you, what would he be able to understand more than anyone ever has?
If Jesus sat down with one of the teens or young adults who wrote one of the following clips, what would Jesus be able to understand that others don’t seem to?
(Quotes are written anonymously from real people.)
- “I feel as if there’s no one to talk to about anything! I don’t even know if I even have REAL friends. They just seem to be people I can hang out with. I can’t trust them with anything.”
- “I love my friends. My family. Anyone who is nice to me. But I feel like they don’t know me at all. I feel like I hide under a mask from everyone. I feel like if I tell someone how I feel they will judge me. I feel like if i tell someone something, I can’t trust them.”
- “I go to school. I have to act like I’m so happy, which I’m not in the school I’m in right now. I have to act all happy with magic rainbows. I wish I could be alone all the time by myself. All alone in my room; that’s my heaven right there.”
- “I feel so alone in this world. I have felt that no one understands me. I feel like a lot of the times that I’m the only one that has gone through every kind of abuse you can think of. Does anyone understand or care?”
- “I feel like I can’t be myself in front of anyone. I cried in the bathroom at school because I heard my friends talking about me. I was so mad like, “Keep my name out your mouth.” They didn’t know how much I was crying. They keep on thinking that I’m so happy all the time. I always feel left out. They just don’t understand me.”
- “The only person I can actually trust, I don’t even tell her anything. She knows practically nothing about me, yet she knows more about me than any other person. No one knows about my need to cut, my want to die, smoke, and do drugs. She’s the closest person to me, yet I’m still partially invisible to her.”
- “I feel like no one understands me, and I just want to fit in, and not be the odd girl or the fat girl out. I feel like I have no friends and that they just say, “Hey,” or talk to me because they’re next to me, I feel like my parents aren’t proud of me, and they just say it cause they have to. Ughh, it sucks, soo much. Maybe one day it will change, I hope.”
Hear the hunger to be understood? Hear the need for people who can be trusted? Hear the need for Peer Ministry Leadership?
Beside the well, imagine yourself taking the time to sit and understand, willing to listen, to offer people living water. Why? Because God understands and loves you. “We love, because Christ first loved us.” (1 John 4:19).
Maybe reading the clips above seems overwhelming? No need to take on the world! Empathy requires hearing and understanding. There is no need for take on all the negative feeling. That would be sympathy.
Listening to people is to learn about people. Therefore, listening will take a lifetime of continuous learning. You won’t just “get it” because of a listening session. Still, it is great place to begin. Welcome to the well!