“I will go to the king, even though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.”

Esther 4:16

Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Esther ~ a woman of courage

King Ahasuerus of Persia chose Esther as his wife, not knowing that she was Jewish. Esther discovered that a decree to kill every Jew living in the Persian Empire was issued. This genocide was the scheme of Haman, the prime minister. Mordecai, Queen Esther’s cousin, begged her to speak to her husband, the King, and intercede for the Jewish people.

She was terrified. The law stated that anyone who approached the King without having been summoned would die. Mordecai, knowing she was the only one who might be able to intervene, told her: “Perhaps you have come to the throne for just such a time as this.” (Ester 4:14)

She asked that all the Jews pray and fast with her for three days, and then she would approach the King. Taking her life in her hands, she went to the King and told him of Haman’s plot. The King rescinded the decree, and the Jewish people were safe.

By God’s providence, Esther found herself in a unique position. As the only Jew with access to the King, Esther played a crucial role in God’s plan to stop the genocide and save the Jewish people.

Each of us will find ourselves, at some moment in our lives, called to step up and do the good that we were born to do. By using our position, our particular gifts or connections, our “Yes” or “No” will have significant consequences for others.

As you reflect on Esther’s courage, can you think of times you have found yourself in a unique position to do good? What was the cost? How did God move you at the time? Pray for the courage and willingness to respond to God’s call, even when it may be costly.

Gracious God,
Please give us the courage of Esther, to say "Yes", and to use our position for the benefit of those who may not have a voice.

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
See more from Annemarie Paulin-Campbell
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