By Rob Cresswell

I checked out some of the TV footage recently from ‘Glastonbury ’23’ a popular UK music festival and came across the band SPARKS performing ‘The Girl is Crying in her Latte’ with Cate Blanchett (no less) doing the dance moves. I’ve got a soft spot for SPARKS having had some of their early hits like ‘No 1 in Heaven‘ back in 1979 (on 45 single). You’ve got to hand it to the two brothers for staying the pace over the last 50 years. Here’s a taste of the lyrics from their 2023 album:

“Is it due to the rain or is she in some pain.
She looks physically fine, Guess it’s something benign.
The girl is crying in her latte, yeah (repeat)
Now she’s leaving the place, Someone’s taking her place,
Orders, then takes a seat, Looks like it’s a repeat
The girl is crying in her latte, yeah (repeat)
So many people are crying in their latte (repeat)”

The song is incredible catchy (SPARKS do it again) but despite its ‘happy groove’ its theme is basically about coping with private distress in a public place. The song lyrics suggest it’s a universal experience – “looks like it’s a repeat” – and I guess sadly it is – and it’s what gives the song its appeal.

It got me thinking about the people we see in the supermarket, in the shops and in the cafes every day. Many people are just about holding it together – you know; we have a public face and a private face. In the market place we brush past strangers who seem OK, but many of us are not. However, in these socially sensitive times we are more anxious than ever of speaking to anyone for fear of saying something wrong or even worse – offending someone. It reminds me of how Jesus mingled in the public places and often crashed in through the thin veneer of social etiquette; he certainly wasn’t afraid of offending anyone. For instance, take the woman at the well…

“So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.” John 4:4-6

Odd that Jesus was there at all. Sychar was a place no self respecting Jew would go… Why? Because as far as they were concerned Samaritans were not only the wrong race, they were also religious heretics. To go anywhere near a Samaritan was to risk being spiritually contaminated – to be made unclean.

So here’s Jesus – tired and thirsty at the well. He has sent his disciples off into town to find food (remember this is an ‘unclean’ town so that mission was likely to be ‘interesting’ 😉) and he sees a Samaritan woman and asks her for a drink! Now this is shocking! This is not politically correct! She’s the wrong gender, the wrong race, and the wrong identity. It’s outrageous and offensive; so she gets triggered:

“The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans).” John 4:9

Jesus doesn’t try to avoid offending people if it’s a necessary consequence of helping them. He doesn’t live by social, religious or political expediency. He only does what he hears and sees his heavenly Father doing (John 14:10)… and on that day his Father was wanting to save and restore a world weary woman.

Can you help me please?

And so Jesus asks her for a drink. I love that. Jesus asks for help. Does he need help? No. She needs help, but Jesus empowers her by giving her the initiative. Jesus knows what he’s doing. One of the best ways to build trust is by asking someone for help – it builds a relationship by empowering others.

And then they have a conversation. She asks Jesus why on earth he is asking her for water – her being a Samaritan and a woman and all… and Jesus starts telling her about himself. He speaks about abundant life, overflowing life and eternal life and he uses the metaphor of – guess what? Water! Brilliant!

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. John 4:13-14

Let’s take a note out of Jesus’ book and become good at explaining spiritual truth in everyday language. This is called rapport and we need to learn how to cultivate it. Don’t use strange religious language that people don’t understand – use simple everyday things that they do understand – the woman at the well – she understood water, so Jesus used water as a spiritual metaphor.


Supernatural etiquette – handling divine revelation rightly

Even so it takes a little while for Jesus to get through – so he uses a powerful word of knowledge to get her attention. The Holy Spirit empowerment of the word of knowledge will do this – it’s designed to get people’s attention.

The word of knowledge is one of the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 – it’s when you know something about someone else (by divine revelation) that has happened in their past or is happening now. The information is often key to what God wants to do in their lives. This gift of the Spirit effectively opens people’s hearts to receive healing and salvation.

So Jesus has information about this woman’s life that is not only ‘private’ but also potentially embarrassing or humiliating for her. As we said, Jesus is not averse to offending people – but he is not unnecessarily cruel or callous either. Watch how he handles the word with care and sensitivity (I added the words in parentheses)…

“Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ (affirmation) for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband (word of knowledge); in that you spoke truly.”” (another affirmation) John 4:16-18 NKJV

The word of knowledge is basically information. The woman already knows all too well about her marital situation and history so in one sense simply telling her this doesn’t help her much. What does matter is the life giving encounter that is happening around this revelation. Jesus is offering her an exchange; forgiveness and acceptance in return for her brokenness and rejection. This is important to understand when we are ministering in any divine revelation: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt,” Colossians 4:6 – so that even hard truth brings comfort and encouragement.

She’s no longer crying in her latte

This is a good lesson for us, and as it turned out, for the woman as well – because she begins to believe in Jesus as the anointed King:

“The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”” John 4:28-29 NKJV

So the woman tells her friends and neighbours all about Jesus and that Samaritan town ends up having a visitation – Jesus and his disciples stay in the town for a couple of days. A ‘chance’ encounter turned into friendships that would last.

This is a picture of what is happening across the world today. The true encounters are still happening ‘at the well’; in the market places, in the cafes and supermarkets (Check out our Miracle Cafes). Ordinary people like you and I are seeing what the Father is wanting to do and reaching out with healing and life giving words.

So here’s that SPARKS song again:

“Every day was the same (so many people)Tried to figure their game (so many people)They all ordered the same (so many people)Guess the world is to blame (so many people)

But the truth of the gospel has overcome the world and the power of the Spirit is able to break through – regardless of identity – whether race, status or gender, and minister to the precious person within. Perhaps you might notice someone ‘crying in their latte’ today… and the Holy Spirit will speak into their life in an unexpected way… (Hey that rhymes!… there just might be a song in there somewhere!)

About the Author: Rob Cresswell

Rob Cresswell avatar
Rob Cresswell along with his wife Aliss pioneer ministries which seek to engage all who are hungry for the things of the Spirit and demonstrate the love and power of God. After graduating from ministry school in 2006 they established a local church in their home town of Chester and several exciting outreach initiatives (known for salvations, healings and miracles) including a café, shop and B&B. Rob is the author of 'The Threefold Miracle Mandate', 'The Believer's Guide to Survival' and 'The Believer's Guide to Thriving'. Together they founded Spirit Lifestyle and continue to write, present, train and travel, spreading the gospel and pioneering Kingdom initiatives internationally.

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