The Epistle of Lydia to the Samaritan Woman

by Jane Kretschmann

My dear grandmother in Christ, I hope that you will 
not find me presumptious in addressing you thus, 
for a feel a special closeness to you, even though
we have never met. Yes, neither of us was a Jew,
but more importantly, we share a testimony 
to the truth of the one Messiah. How I envy you
for having conversed with him, even giving him 
a drink of water from Jacob’s well. I have heard 
the reports of your conversation, how Jesus taught 

you about “living water,” but I long to know 
so much more. What was he like, his presence, 
his behavior? Though your encounter occurred

almost thirty years ago, I am sure you recall it
well.  Did Jesus have a twinkle in his eyes 
as he teased you—kindly, I am sure—about your
lack of a husband? I wonder if he likewise would 
have teased me, as I too was without a husband 
when I was baptised. And do you believe that

the living water Jesus spoke of was our mother,
the Holy Spirit? I ask because once you received it,
you were so quick to believe and to spread the word

and to tell of your meeting. My dear one, you alone
by your testimony may have been responsible for 
the conversion of a host of your fellows and sisters.

Jane K. Kretschmann of Piqua, Ohio, retired English professor from Edison State Community College, has work in print and online and broadcast on radio. Her chapbook, Imagining a Life, was published by FootHills Publishing. Recently, her poems appeared in Gyroscope Review, Mock Turtle Zine, NFSPS Encore 2022, and OPA Best of 2022. Edison premiered her readers’ theater Lynching Alabama. Jane participated in Poetry at Hayner: a Mosaic of Voices. The selections in this submission are from her series The Epistles of Lydia of Thyatira, the seller of purple from Acts 16.

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