They’re Not Drunks and Whores..!

He was resting at the well. I knew he’d sent his followers away, to get a much needed respite away from his busy schedule of teaching and preaching and healing. But as his head touched the side of the brick wall, a woman appeared. I knew who she was and tried to shoo her away. He was a holy man, and she a woman of low repute.

“He’s resting!” I whispered to her, “Go away and draw water from another well!” But like all women of such character, women who had no respect for reputable men like me, she did not heed my voice and went to the well, waking my sleeping Lord. 

“Will you give me some water to drink?” my Lord asked.

“Lord!” I wanted to shout, “Don’t talk to her. She’s a prostitute!”

But my Lord continued his conversation with her, and soon I saw her, the Samaritan woman going away, her eyes sparkling.

“How could you, Lord!” I cried out silently.

“What did you see Bob?” asked my Lord.

“I saw a woman of low character, one who has slept with all the men in the village!”

“And I saw why she had to do that!” whispered my Lord, “That she was looking for security, and each man she turned to, used her body but gave her none! She looked for marriage, from five different men, but not one of them shared wedding vows with her! What else did you see in her eyes?”

“Lust!” I said.

“Loneliness!” sighed my Lord.

I hear sounds and see her bringing others to the man at the well. I leave my Lord and come back to the present and notice those shunned by society all around me. I see an alcoholic, and it seems I hear my Lord’s voice coming all the way from that old well, “What do you see in his eyes Bob?”

“Craving!” I whisper.

“Defeat!” says my Lord, “Rejection!”

I look around and see them; vagabonds, homeless, drug addicts, whores, all slinking away from me in shame, “Look deeper!” cries my Lord, “See what I saw in the eyes of that woman!”

I look deeper, and see despair! “Give him hope!” whispers my Lord urgently.

I see shame, “Give her confidence!” pleads my Lord.

I hear the slurred speech of a drunk, “Give him new focus!” cries my Lord. “Will you look deeper?” He asks you and me, “and stop branding them as drunks, whores, cheats and other words you’ve coined for despair and hopelessness? Will you?”

Robert Clements is a newspaper columnist and author. He blogs at and can be reached at