In the story of the encounter between Jesus and a Samaritan woman at Jacob’’s Well, the woman gives him a drink and he talks with her. It is a sensitive story of meeting, giving and receiving – a telling place. All sorts of things happen around water: creative, celebratory, promising things.
Through poems and reflections Joy Mead imagines the women mentioned in the Bible as central to their own stories, rather than appearing briefly on the margins of a narrative which reflects a world perceived and led by men. Her meditations on these women express her belief that their stories are not just about ‘women’s issues’, but are relevant to both men and women. They explore an incarnational theology, earthed in creation and the possibility of transformation, and a perspective on society centred on mutuality and relationship.
This is a book not of certainties and answers but of explorations and questions. Just like the interaction at the well of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, or Jacob and Rachel, it is about looking into the puzzling heart of all things and being enriched by the experience.
Joy Mead is also the author of The One Loaf: An Everyday Celebration, Making Peace in Practice and Poetry and Compassion in the Marketplace, and has contributed to Dandelions & Thistles, A Book of Blessings, Dreaming of Eden, Easter Readings from Iona and This Is the Day, all published by Wild Goose.
Joy Mead is a poet of great sensitivity and subtlety. She is a deeply religious poet, without being a Religious Poet, if you know what I mean. Genuine spirituality is located in the material, in the embodied: that seems to be how our God works. Joy Mead’s spirituality is grounded in the depths of so-called ‘ordinary’ life – the extraordinary life. That’s why she is one of my favourite poets.
Ron Ferguson, author and award-winning journalist