Thursday, August 20, 2015
all that is necessary
Lots of good things in today's readings. 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, is of course stirring and profound. It teaches us what's most important, and it teaches us what that means. Psalm 37:4 tells us that God gives us the desires of our hearts.
But the selection from Esther was where I landed tonight. And in an unlikely place. I was thinking about the king extending his scepter, allowing Esther to approach him when she wasn't expected.
And I realized that all the king had to do in order for Esther to die was nothing. If he just sat there and looked the other way, she would have been struck down for daring to come before the king uninvited.
We think of the bravery of Esther, who said "If I die, I die" and went to the king "for such a time as this." And rightly so. She and Mordecai were both very brave.
But think about the king. He had all of the power in the land. He could have chosen anything he wanted, and no one would have opposed him. But he cared about Esther, and therefore cared about her people. And because he cared, and he extended his scepter, she and her people were saved.
You've probably heard the words of Edmund Burke: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
You and I sit in our chairs in our first world country, surrounded by the wealth that most of the world envies. We can choose to help people... and no one will tell us not to. We can choose to do nothing. But there are people who need us, like Esther needed the king. You know who they are, I don't have to make a list for you. Poor people. Suffering people. Dying people, including the unborn. And we CAN make a difference, if we choose not to look the other way. If we, like the king, choose to extend our scepter and grant life to those who need it.
If you are honestly at a loss how YOU can make a difference, just ask. God is ready to tell you, believe me. And it doesn't have to mean going to Africa (though it might!) It can mean helping those in your own family (that can be harder than going to Africa sometimes!) or it can mean helping those in your community. But ask Him to show you how you can extend your scepter and bring people life, and He will show you how.
Then ask for the courage to do it. Because it can be hard.
Thank You, God, for giving us the privilege of helping other people. Please give us the courage to do so.