In a vacant hostel set amidst the snow-laden Black Forest, I read the Good News Bible for the first time in my life. I have not eaten anything for days, but the thin, tattered pages of this book have become my communion bread, my nourishment.
I am fascinated by these stories of men and women rejected by people and embraced by this guy Jesus. When man disappoints, scorns, judges, rejects; Jesus touches, has compassion on, heals, forgives, loves. There are people the world seems ready to dispose of, who Jesus treats with utmost respect. Their past doesn’t bother him; the opinions of people in their community dont phase him; he sees them through purely loving eyes. And his love frees them to walk in dignity and respect for themselves, no matter where they’ve been.
When Jesus spoke with the Samaritan woman, he broke every chain that bound her. Jesus went to the well because he was tired and thirsty from a long journey the very same reason why I finally went to the well.
The Samaritan woman walks up to get some water not in the morning or in the evening, when it was customary, but in the middle of the day probably to avoid running into people who knew her reputation.
Jesus asks her for a cup of water.
Stunned that he would even speak to her Jews and Samaritans hated each other she questions him, How can you even ask me for a drink?
Jesus answers, If you only knew who it is who asks you for a drink, you would ask me and I would give you living water.
Then she tries to argue that he doesnt even have a cup!
But Jesus isnt moved. Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again," He says, "But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.
Then it all comes out in the open shes been with many men and the man she is with now isnt her husband.
Why does Jesus tell her about the living water? Why doesnt he tell this to the demon-possessed man? To the blind, poor, sick, lame? Why her?
Because he knows this womans thirst. He knows her hunger. And he knows that he is the only source that can fill it.
He was the source from which she was made, and he is the source from which she needs to drink to get "full." But she has been going from man to man to man to man, looking for fulfillment. And Jesus is saying to her, Sweetheart, what you need is me. What you need is a well that doesnt run dry, a love that doesnt run out, a water that will satisfy.
She leaves her water jar at the well, goes back to the town and says to the people, Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did!
Why does she leave her water jar? Because she realizes that she has found the source of her thirst. A man who knows everything she ever did and does not judge her? Does not ask anything of her? He only offers free fulfillment? She has found what she has been looking for her entire life.
My knees are pressed hard to rocky soil. My head is in my hands. I am weeping. The tears come from the center of that little girl inside of me who had gone into the world searching for love. She is in a heap on the ground, with not a soul in sight.
Help me, I cry through broken sobs. In the name of Jesus Christ, help me God . . . .
In the snowy, frozen winter of the lightless forest, I feel a growing warmth on the back of my head, and then heat on my hair and neck. I look up. The dark, ominous clouds shift, and the sun beams through an open space.
I have come to the right place. I have come to the well, after a long and tiring journey. And it is a well that doesn’t run dry.
Hungry? Thirsty? Unsatisfied? Empty? At bottom? Restless? Disappointed? On rocky ground?
Hes got what will fill you. You just need to ask. If you do not ask, he can not and will not force it down your throat he loves you too much for that. He is too patient for that. Hes just offering: I am the living water. I am the well that wont run dry. I can fill you.
And I can wash you clean. Only I can do that, my dear child. Only I can do that.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
The honesty that Jennifer uses to tell her story drew our young women in and captured their hearts. She provided them with practical tips that the women use daily to transform their lives. These decisions have caused them to do things differently. We loved her so much, we are having her back!
Chrissie Dunham, Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, TX
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
Jennifer has the ability to make you laugh, cry, and see yourself as one of God’s glorious creations — and that is just her warm up! Once Jennifer starts speaking, all you want to do is listen, learn, laugh, and love her. She takes you outside of yourself while helping you see inside of yourself, and does it in such a way that you feel safe, empowered, and capable to embrace all that the Lord is waiting to give you. She opens your eyes and your heart to hear from God in ways you never have. She connects you with others who share similar life experiences — and shines a bright light on the pathway to forgiveness, love, and blessings. Jennifer is also an amazing mother, compassionate, loving wife, and loyal, dedicated friend. Any opportunity women of any age have to hear from her is a gift and one that will produce fruit in their lives.
Lori Kennedy, Outreach Event Coordinator, Riverview Evangelical Church, Bonsall, CA
I just picked up my girls from school today and they both talked all the way home about Jennifer’s presenation. It was a BIG HIT with Middle School and High School kids (both boys and girls). My high school daughter mentioned that she was glad that for once, a speaker focused on girl’s topics instead of sports or boy topics. She said that Jennifer engaged with the boys and made them answer questions too. My middle school daughter said that everyone in the middle school was paying attention too, and that all her friends were very tuned into what Jen was saying. Both girls said that they thought it was fine that the boys were with the girls during the presentation because the boys “needed to hear this stuff too.”
Mother of two student attendees
Mother of two student attendees of Jennifer's U R MORE school program for boys and girls
If you think Jennifer gets the attention of adults, just see how the teenagers respond! My teenage grandchildren said they wanted to hear more from her and that her book was the only one they’ve ever really enjoyed reading! If teenagers are informed, inspired, and desire more, does anything else need to be said? Jennifer is an unusual voice of truth, integrity, and dignity. She needs to tell the world about her experiences and her victory. She encouraged me, a 70-year-old great grandmother. So, from teens to grans she has something everyone can benefit from.