Jesus tells the disciples, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Does Jesus keep an extra sandwich in his back pocket that no one knows about? No, Jesus is talking about how doing the will of God with this woman had fed him. Certainly, he meant this figuratively, but could he also mean this literally. Members of Overeaters Anonymous (OA) have cravings beyond normal food cravings. Through OA they have discovered they have misplaced hunger. They have replaced their hunger for God with food. They have found that the solution to their cravings is to contact another trusted member of OA and share what they are really craving in the moment in their life, God. Their intimate conversation actually quells their physical hunger.
The woman has also misplaced hunger. She apparently had fed on that zing of falling in love or, another way of putting it, the “chemistry” between two lovers. She has done this six times (five marriages plus a current relationship) falling for a false intimacy instead of that real committed intimacy. Having revealed her real self with Jesus and her real hunger for God, she is fed. She runs back to town without even getting a drink.
Are we able to discuss what we are truly hungry for? We hunger for a God who loves us the way we are. We hunger for a God who listens to us no matter what we might say (sorry mom). We hunger for a God who forgives us. We hunger for a God who teaches us. We hunger for God’s truth even when we don’t necessarily want to hear it. We hunger for a God who manifests himself in the people around us, who love us, accept us, forgive us, and speak the truth.