Wow. The courage it took to go against the flow of social norms and the unpleasant realities that were just part of the day-to-day life. Although the characters are ficticious their battles are real; the desire to be heard, to be valued, to be appreciated, to be respected.
Our message at church today was on Esther. Esther tells another story of courage. She was approximately 16 years old when she was chosen through a glorified beauty pageant to become the next queen of Persia. But she wasn’t raised in a royal home, she was raised by her single uncle after her parents died. She was Jewish, not Persian. Her name wasn’t even Esther, it was Hadassah. Her uncle Mordecai suggested she take a Persian name to help blend in with everyone else.
However, Esther was chosen not by King Xerxes, really she was chosen by God, only she didn’t know it yet and would have probably said, “Pick someone else.” But God had different plans.
Both Esther and the character Abilene in The Help were called to be courageous when they didn’t even know courage was in them. Esther was ready to tell her uncle “no thanks” when he told her that she and her family will perish. After listening some more she told him that she will approach the king and “if I perish, I perish (Esther 4:16).” It was an action punishable by death to approach the king without his personal summons.
The hundreds of people who stood up, when it was easier and safer to sit still, during the Civil Rights movement showed courage that cannot be described here. Esther also showed courage, her whole race was going to be killed, just for being Jewish and she chose to stand before her king uninvited.
So, how does this apply to me? I am beginning to choose to do the things that are hard, even if I want to stay sitting down. As my dear Beth Moore said, “It’s time to stand up and step up.”
I don’t want to be the person that could have stood up and made a difference but chose not too. The very last thing I want to do is nothing.
I am here “for such a time as this (Esther 4:14).” God has a plan for me, a place where I can join Him to make an eternal difference. But mark my words, if I chose to stay put and not join God, He will find someone else. His will will be done, with or without me.
So, how about you? Are you going to sit when others need someone to stand? Are you going to be quiet when someone needs to speak up?
As for me, I will stand and I will speak.
For more encouragement read the book of Esther, it’s found in the Old Testament.