Day 113 Esther 1:1 – 4:17 Guest Blogger Helen Smith
April 22, 2021, 10:34 PM

Day 113  Esther 1:1 – 4:17

For if you keep silence at such a time as this, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another quarter, but you and your father’s house will perish. Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for such a time as this.”  (Esther 4:14)

I’m going to take Mtr. Laurie at her word when she first recruited guest bloggers for our Bible in a Year Readings.  She asked we write about what struck us; that it didn’t need to be theologically based or scripturally sound. 

The meditation above from Esther 4:14, which came at the end of our Bible reading for Day 113, struck me as especially relevant to the events of today.  I write this blog on Wednesday afternoon, April 21st, one day after Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all three counts against him.  The jury’s verdict was awaited by millions in our country and around the world.  Regardless of what we think of the outcome of the trial, of Black Lives Matter, of the Blue Line, one fact is indisputable.  A 17 year old woman chose not to keep silent that afternoon as she watched and recorded George Floyd die.  She happened to be across the street taking her young cousin for ice cream.  Darnella Frazier hasn’t given many interviews since that day, but she said she saw her father, her brother, her uncle represented by the terrified man she saw on the ground across the street.  When Queen Esther learned her people were to be put to death, she too decided not to remain quiet.  Perhaps both women came to royal dignity for such a time as this, thousands of years apart. 

We learn that God was not audibly present in the book of Esther as He has was so often in the preceding books we’ve read.   And yet, for those of faith, how do people find the courage to do seemingly impossible things?  In Esther’s time, it’s remarkable that a woman carried off what she did.  And today our Jewish friends commemorate her courage against King Haman every year during the holiday known as Purim which occurs on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month of the Jewish calendar.  In Darnella’s time, a young black woman had the courage to record and upload to social media an unedited version of what she’d just watched.  God walked with both these women, whether we can hear Him or not. 

--Helen W. Smith, St. Luke's Church, Catskill, NY

Mother Laurie's note: Helen was concerned about whether or not I felt comfortable running this blog. I told her that I got chills when I read it because of the way she saw something that connected two young women, thousands of years apart, whom God had used to help his people. Both women had the right to be afraid of the uncharted waters they were navigating, and both women did the impossible--they spoke up for the voiceless and they called attention to their plight. They saved lives, I believe, even though Darnella may not yet be fully aware of the impact she has had.
At the end of her blog, Helen wrote that "God walked with both of these women, whether we can hear him or not."
I texted Helen this comment: "I think both of these women are how we hear God. Their witness is an outcry, an act of bravey, a wake-up call--a clarion call. So many scholars have written about Esther and about the fact that God's name is never heard. But of course it is: whenever there are cries for justice and for compassion God's voice is heard."

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