In his Orange Conference 2023 talk, Albert Tate told how he has been recently identifying with the woman at the well. She’s there isolated, alone, filled with guilt and shame, doesn’t want to be bothered with others, etc. How do we process all the hurt and pain but still show up with joy to empower others?

Albert realized that he had been dialing back his heart to keep himself safe from potential pain.

CS Lewis: “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. Ifyou want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable… The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers… of love is Hell”

Albert, then, invited us to not guard our hearts but to lean in.

Just like the woman at the well, we want to give up. But Jesus shows her that she still has breath in her body, so don’t give up. She tells her he’s not supposed to be here, but He’s basically telling her that she’s not supposed to be here. He is ready to do something in her life that is far greater. He tells her, “You’re supposed to be walking in love, not here with your water jar.”

After her encounter with Jesus, the woman runs into town and comes back with half the city. The disciples only came back with food and were confused. Albert suggests that, like the disciples, maybe we have become so familiar with Jesus that when we go to town, we’re not impacting others like the woman did.

The people will not sustain you.

The pay will not sustain you.

The acknowledgement will not sustain you.

But God will sustain you.

And we need to go to our communities and tell people, “Come see a man who told me everything I ever did.”

Albert then told a story about Elgin Staples, how he was saved by a lifebelt that was made by his mother. (Learn more here.)

Albert closed by declaring, “The one who created you will be the one who sustains you!”

And tomorrow, there will be more of us!

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