Remember the “Humpty Dumpty” nursery rhyme?
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.
Life is sometimes like that, isn’t it?
John’s Gospel records the meeting between Jesus and the Samaritan woman, a woman who had fallen off the wall once too often. She certainly was no stranger to failure. The cracks in her life, the results of her falling off the wall too often, show clearly in the Scripture. She had been married five times and was living with a man to whom she was not married. She understood disappointment and desertion, and deceit. The men in her life had all died or lied to her. I imagine she felt a lot like Humpty Dumpty.
In many respects her story is our story. Who has not fallen off the wall? Like Humpty Dumpty, our lives become cracked and damaged. Everyone understands disappointment, desertion, and deceit. Our lives show the marks of our failures. The question is, “What do we do when we fall off the wall?”
In 1932 a young actor went for a screen test. A Hollywood talent judge wrote on his test: “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Can dance a little”. However, Fred Astaire did not quit. He picked himself up and went on. As a Christian, you will fail. You may even fall off a very high wall. But because of Christ, you can leave your failures behind you. In time, they will be forgotten footnotes in your past.
Looking for help in all the wrong places – A song of the past was about looking for love in all the wrong places. That song might well have been written for the woman at Jacob’s well. Having failed in love and affection, the woman was living with a man willing to tell her what she wanted to hear: “I love you”. She tried to forget herself by going through the motions of life, but deep down she suffered in her loneliness.
Can’t we see ourselves in her? Don’t we all try to forget the times we fail? Instead of trusting our failures to Christ, we try and lose ourselves in work, family, and a host of other things. We think that will fill the void created by our fall. And so, we go on pretending everything is okay. But like with Humpty Dumpty, all the King’s men can’t put us together again. We need to be reminded that only the King of kings can. From the Christian Mother Goose: Rock-A-Bye Bible, the same story reads, “Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; Humpty Dumpty shouted, ‘Amen! God can put me together again.”
Putting the pieces together again – Christ put the pieces of the Samaritan woman’s life together again. He was the only solution to her problems. When we want our relationship with God restored or the pieces of our lives put together again, we need to remember that God is the solution to our problems. He is the forgiver of our sins, and the restorer of our relationship with Him. Remember, Jesus already knew the woman’s past, her failures, and her needs. He already knew she had fallen off the wall. He knows you have too. He is ready to forgive, heal, and restore you to wholeness.