A victim of her own choices, and likely many poor decisions of others, we see the woman at the well as one who is caught in a perpetual cycle. A cycle of bad relationships, a cycle of awkward social encounters - she is, after all, at the well all by herself at an unusual hour - have left her living incognito and OK with it. We have names for people like her in society, but we rarely use them in public.
We've stopped feeling sorry for people in these predicaments, assuming they've brought it on themselves, and have started endorsing the idea that "God helps those who help themselves." We've made assumptions about people like this woman, that they don't know any better, or that they're just not intelligent enough to see their way out of it. But this is more theologically astute than we give her credit for; she knows one thing that can change her life - when the Messiah comes, He'll have all the answers. And when she comes face to face with The Answer, He gives her new purpose. Because o