Text: John 4:3-30, 39-42
Today is a day for stories about wells, and they are legion. We all sit riveted to the television when children are rescued from wells they have fallen into.
That’s how I planned to begin my sermon today. Then, lo and behold, Friday night CNN announced that yesterday was the 25th birthday of the child who prompted that statement. Baby Jessica McClure was the 18 month-old whose tense rescue from a narrow well in Midland, Texas touched the hearts of people all over the world. Now that she is 25, she can access the funds donated when her life was saved 23 years ago. It is indeed a day for stories about wells.
But I must say that my favorite well story is about a farmer’s donkey that fell into a large, dry well. The neighbors who came to observe the donkey’s predicament saw no solution to the animal’s plight. They suggested all kinds of things to ease the old donkey’s inevitable passing, but the farmer would have none of it. He insisted that his friends help him drop shovels full of dirt into the well in spite of their resistance to such a plan. The shoveling went on for hours until finally the donkey’s ears could be seen above the edge of the well. A bit more shoveling and the tired but grateful animal jumped out of the well and ran off. It seems that the farmer and the donkey were smarter than the neighbors. The animal simply shook off each shovel of dirt that fell into the well and then stepped onto the growing pile. Little by little, the bottom of the well rose until the old guy could step out of the well and into freedom.