Instantly, Tamar traveled back in her mind to a large family gathering. It was acool fall night and all her relatives had gathered in harvest celebration. Musicfell on her ears like rain from the sky. The world was a celebration.Intoxicated by this night of dancing and singing and eating, she fell into thearms of young man. Before she knew what she was doing, she had given away her onlypossession. In the middle of their escapade, they were caught, exposed in front ofthe entire village.She publicly shamed the family. Responding in the only way he knew, her fathercried out and grieved as though a child had died. The crisp fall air turned staleand a sick, pit-in-your-stomach gloom swallowed all festivity.Tamar died that night. She died to family and friends. She left her home and neversaw her family again. Learning to survive on her own, she did what a woman had todo. Men came and went. Each one with promises of a better life. Each one more vilethan the last.Worthless and used up, she grew hard to the world. Nothing or no one had comeclose to penetrating her fortress of indifference in years. A chance meeting witha strange Jew, and the fortress walls began to tremble. His words pierced her soullike javelins.Grappling to recuperate, she says, “You must be a prophet.”She wonders, “Could he be the prophet that Moses spoke of?” If so, maybe he canfinally affirm our worship.”Not only was Tamar a marginalized woman. She came from a marginalized people. Theywere outsiders. Cursed by the Israelites even though they held to the law andworshipped at the Holy Mt of Gerizim.She asks, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that Jerusalem isthe place where people ought to worship."Looking directly into her eyes, Jesus proclaims, “Woman, listen to me and believe.The time is at hand to worship the Father in heaven directly. No more will it bethis mountain or that mountain. From now, the true children of God will worshipthe Father in spirit and truth. He is drawing all men to himself and the hour isat hand for the true worshippers of God to wake from their sleep.”Jarred by his direct response she replies, “If only the Prophet were here. Hewould tell everything we need to know.”“I who speak to you Am He.”His words echoed through every fiber of her body from her head down to her toes.Suddenly she realized she was running. Running madly into the village as thoughshe were racing for her life. She was crying.Crying for the first time in fifteen years. Her cold, hard, calloused heartsuddenly ached again. She could feel something. She was alive. Like the teenagerthat died so many years ago, she was alive again.Alive! Alive! She shouted, she cried, she laughed. Surely the people will think Iam insane but who cares because I’ve seen him, I’ve seen him, the One is here, Hetold me everything, everything about my life.