Friday, July 4, 2008

Esther - What's Wrong?

Esther 4:1-5 When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. But he went only as far as the king's gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes. When Esther's maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathach, one of the king's eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.

Have you ever thought about the little kid in class who did something he wasn't supposed to and the teacher found out what it was and punished the whole class for it. I wonder what that little kid feels like - is he happy that he doesn't have to suffer by himself, or is the guilt eating away at him?

Mordecai has found himself in the same situation. Although his actions were righteous, he made the 'teacher' mad and now everyone is getting punished for it. He has the latter feelings in our previous example. He is wrought with grief over what is going to happen to all the Jews, and he's not afraid to share those feelings.

Let's look at Esther for a moment in these few verses. She's told of Mordecai's actions and sees that he's upset about something and the first thing she does is what? Sends out clothes for him to change into. Was he crying because he forgot to do his laundry? Was he crying because the sackcloth was itching him? No.

Like many of us, me especially, we want to solve a situation with a 'change of clothes': quick answer, a quick cover-up and hope it's enough to do the job. We look at the outside and make an assumption that we know what the cause of the problem is and work quickly to solve it.

Esther immediately realizes her mistake and sends out Hathach to fix it.
There was no way for Esther to know exactly what was wrong with Mordecai until she talked to him about it and got to the heart of the problem.

Are we willing to do that? Are we willing to go beyond what we think is the 'quick fix'? Are we willing to take the time to stop assuming and get to the real issues that are bothering someone? Are we willing to do it for ourselves?

0 wonderful insights: