Orienting Ourselves to the Wilderness

“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done!

He cannot be the Messiah, can he?”

~ John 4:29


This exclamation comes from a “Samaritan Woman” who encountered Jesus at a well. She was shocked when he asked her for a drink of water. I can imagine her thinking “How rude! Doesn’t he know he should refrain from talking to me? What could he possibly want?” Her reply attempts to put him in his place but it does not work. Jesus is determined to speak with her. Thus begins her transformation. As their dialogue deepens so does her understanding of who she is. Jesus is direct yet gentle. He knows her inside and out. And her understanding of who Jesus is deepens as well. At first she calls him a Rabbi and then a prophet. As Jesus tells her that he is the Messiah the other disciples show up interrupting the narrative. The woman drops her water bottle and runs back to her city completely transformed.

“Come and See…”, she declares

“He cannot be the Messiah, can he?”, she inquires.
It is too good to be true – but the Truth is right there before her eyes.

Jesus revealed to this woman everything she had ever done and her eyes are open and she sees the I AM, the Messiah, the Living Water, the Word.

Her testimony brought a whole city to believe in Jesus enough to welcome him to stay with them for two days. And after two days the people of the city knew Jesus was the Savior of the world.

Jesus invites us to deepen our knowledge of ourselves and thus know who he truly is. It is not about believing what another says. It is about experiencing the Word of God in our lives

Knowing ourselves and deepening our relationship with Jesus takes time.

This week we invite you reflect on the events of the day through the prayer of examine.

The Examen helps us:

  • Acknowledge sad or painful feelings and hear how God is speaking to us through them.
  • Overcome a pessimistic outlook by encouraging us notice the good in each day.
  • Tell the truth about who we truly are and what we need, rather than who we think we should be.
  • Become aware of seemingly insignificant moments that ultimately can give direction for our lives.
  • To find God in all things and to work constantly to cooperate with God’s will.


The Prayer of Examen takes about fifteen minutes, and involves three parts. Find a place you can relax and be comfortable. You may want to light a candle to remind you of the presence of God with you.


  1. Ask God to bring to your awareness the moment today for which you are most grateful.
    • If you could relive one moment, which one would it be?
    • When were you most able to give and receive love today?
    • Ask yourself what was said and done in that moment that made it so good.
    • Breathe in the gratitude you felt and receive life again from that moment.


  1. Ask God to bring to your awareness the moment today for which you are least grateful.
    • When were you least able to give and receive love?
    • Ask yourself what was said and done in that moment that made it so difficult.
    • Relive the feelings without trying to change or fix it in any way.
    • Take deep breaths and let God’s love fill you just as you are.


  1. Give thanks for whatever you have experienced.



It is  helpful to record your thoughts in a journal. Rereading these notes will help you see God’s grace at work in your life even when things seemed impossible.
Artwork: Christ and the Samaritan by Julia Stankova, 2019 www.juliastankova.com

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