The story of Esther is a story about seizing the moment, stepping , saving the day. It is a story about courage at its best. A story where reluctance meets courage. It’s the moment you realize that sitting on the sidelines is not where you want to be. It’s a story about a young wife who becomes a heroine by a timely act of courage.
Speaking about heroes, Donald Miller said in Scary Close, at the beginning of every story, “heroes are almost always screw ups.” He insists that the strongest character in a story isn’t the hero, but the guide. Esther and Mordechai both bring this to light. Mordechai is not the hero, nevertheless he’s a strong character. Esther, on the other hand, is kind of green, unaware, unassuming, reluctant, cowardly, to a certain degree and most definitely afraid.
But something is awakened in her after she learns that a plot is in play to completely wipe out her entire race.
Somebody once said, “both the hero and the coward are afraid, but only one of them run in the right direction.”
In 1912, when the Titanic sank, there were heroes on that ship who chose to stay on board the sinking ship, thereby allowing women and children to get on boats, leading them to safety. They were afraid, they didn’t want to die, but they ran in the right direction.
In 1996, when the Indonesian ship sank, there were cowards onboard. They selfishly imposed their will over and above women and children. As a result, three hundred of those died. They were afraid, they didn’t want to die, but they ran in the wrong direction.
I don’t want to get political here, but 1994, the world watched a genocide in Rwanda and those who had the power to stop it turned away. In the same way, and around that same time, the world also watch while Liberia descended into a bloody civil unrest. Those who had the power to stop it turned a blind eye. As a result more than 250,000 perished in that conflict. Our reluctance can be very costly.
Addressing Esther’s reluctance, Mordecai told her, “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Esther 4:13-14 NLT
These words gripped the unassuming queen and drove her to action. Unlike the coward who runs in the wrong direction, she is clearly afraid of losing her life, yet, she runs in the right direction to make a huge difference in the lives of many.
Your entire race may not be facing extinction from a violent decree, but I’m sure you know somebody who’s life matters. And maybe you have:
- A platform
- A voice
- An Influence
- Maybe you were brought to the Kingdom for such a time as this
- Maybe you are uniquely positioned to show extraordinary courage
Stand up. Run in the right direction. Let your voice be heard. The only thing the poor, hurting, homeless, marginalized and disenfranchised need is someone who seeks justice, loves kindness and walks humbly.