John’s gospel, chapter four. Some of you might even have it memorized. Jesus. A Samaritan woman. A conversation of at high noon. We call the story, “The Woman at the Well.”
But Jesus promises her living water. He tells her that he is that living water. The structure they are standing beside is just a hole in the ground. He — Jesus — is the well. We should call it “The Woman Who Spoke to a Well.”
That’s my paraphrase. And that’s just my takeaway from the first chapter of Mark Hall’s book The Well: Why Are So Many Still Thirsty? (Zondervan). Additional insights from the lead singer and road pastor of the Christian music group Casting Crowns tumble out of each successive chapter. And I don’t believe in packing book reviews with spoilers, so you’ll have to get the book.
The Well would certainly suit any Casting Crowns fan, but this is a book that really transcends age or level of spiritual maturity. There’s enough here for everyone. Having said that however, I really hope that, with its straightforward writing style, The Well finds a market among teens and twenty-somethings. I know some stores will stock this in the music section, but it needs to be in the youth section as well.
But also in the self-help section. As Hall points out, the problem stated in the book’s subtitle is that we tend to look for hope and help from substitute wells — approval, control, resourcefulness, talent, entitlement; looking for “something else,” even religion — instead of looking to The One who is The Well.
When I finished the book, I immediately started in again, reading four chapters out loud in our family devotional time. We really liked an insight into the time, just before his ascension, Jesus builds a fire to cook fish. A detail I’d missed. And will never miss again. But you’ll have to get the book.
This one’s a keeper.
The Well: Why Are So Many Still Thirsty? by Mark Hall with Tim Luke publishes the first week in September from Zondervan in paper at $14.99 U.S.