Thursday, July 23, 2009


Journal for Christa, (from June 15, 2009)

It seems like there’s always someone in every literature class who just can’t wait to see how a novel ends. So, in the quiet privacy of her room (I say “she” because it’s always a girl.), she flips to the back of the book and reads the ending. I usually give her a hard time, and nothing makes the others madder than for someone who’s read ahead to reveal a crucial element before the rest are there.

Tonight we started a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of Esther. Beth referred often to Esther’s destiny… and ours; but having read Esther several times over the years, the burning question I always wish I knew is— “What happened to her after she saved a whole nation of people from the wicked Haman?”

I’ve read that some think she may have died soon after her story, since her life from that point on falls silent. I don’t know. I suppose if one were to create a blockbuster, the beautiful Esther, shrouded in Persian opulence, would breathe her last in the devoted arms of King Xerxes. To me, that seems too simplistic and not the way life generally turns out. I somehow see her cloistered in a harem, soon forgotten, replaced by another voluptuous form. How hard would it be to fall from queen to harem girl? Now, that’s an Esther who intrigues me. What did she do then? Did she seek the face of the God who had saved her? Or, as the great deed receded farther and farther into the past, did she grow old, regretful, and bitter? We may never know.

Another woman in the Bible whom I would have appreciated more information on is Abigail. It sort of seems that David took her as a wife out of gratitude or obligation. It wasn’t like he really knew her. The foolish Nabal dies, and then comes David to bring her home with him. Have you ever wondered just where in the palace she was the night David called for Bathsheba? A woman mature and wise, what did she know? And did she say anything—or deem it wiser to keep silent?

Women. Women who made a splash on the pages of Scripture, but afterward are never heard from again—living in obscurity—where mostly the rest of us live everyday. I wish I knew how they lived there. People seem to have the capacity to do great deeds when great deeds are required, but most of their lives—and ours—are spent just doing regular things. We cook dinner. We clean house. We haul kids around and feel lucky to check facebook. Often we get to the end of the day and feel like we’ve done nothing, but that is not so. We all have a world we touch, and only eternity will reveal significant deeds that may not have seemed so at the time.

I look forward to our study in Esther and think I’ll learn many valuable lessons because that’s the part of Esther’s life God wanted revealed. I’m not sure how Beth Moore will sum up the end of Esther, but I don’t think skipping to the last chapter will tell me all the things I wish I knew.

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