My favorite character as a child was The Road Runner. I liked him predominantly for his speed (I ran track in elementary school), as well as his intelligence, his pretty purple feathers, and that classic “Beep, Beep!” No matter how hard Wile E. Coyote tried every day to dupe the bird with wild contraptions and complex plans, with but a little common sense and speed (okay and inconsistent rules of the cartoon universe), Road Runner was always successful at escaping, leaving Wile E. to experience the pain of the trap himself.
In our evening Bible readings over the past few days, Clint and I have been contemplating the story of Esther, the beautiful Jewess who first wins the king’s hand in marriage and then saves her people from destruction. Her greatest qualities perhaps were her beauty, her courage, and her humility. She obediently followed the advice of her uncle, Mordecai, and was willing to lose her life in an effort to save her people. Perhaps the most famously quoted verse in the book is: “For such a time as this,” referring to the Providential appointment of Esther as queen in order to rescue the Jewish nation.
As the story unwinds, Haman, a high ranking official, parades through the city and is sorely offended when Mordecai refuses to bow to him, stating that he bows to God alone. After complex schemes and shady dealings, Haman is invited to an exclusive feast with the king and queen. Overjoyed with the VIP treatment, Haman decides to make his move. In the end, however, Haman who had been planning revenge on Mordecai, ends up, similarly to Wile E., with a death sentence, hanging from the very gallows he meant for Mordecai. And we discover in the following chapter that his 10 sons have the same fate, while the Jewish people are saved.
What an inspiration Esther is of a woman who bravely faces her calling and steps into the role that God has given her to play! Being named the most beautiful and desirable woman in the land does not go to her head. Rather, Esther humbly submits to Mordecai and continues to identify with and protect her people. Oh to have the courage to step into the court of the king, facing certain death, and instead to find life and joy. The God of Israel protects her and in turn protects her entire nation through her.
May we too be found faithful in the calling that God has placed on our lives and may we walk with courage into the unknown.
Reflection: Based on their cartoon character choices, others in the office appear to admire a good sense of humor, bravery, the defense of the innocent, as well as general cuteness. Who was your favorite cartoon character and what did you admire about him or her?