A Message from Esther’s Handmaid

To All who will listen,

I remember when she first came to the palace.  Even then, before the purification, there was something that set her apart from the others.

Many of us were there because our peoples had been conquered. We did what we had to survive. Danger was everywhere even in the midst of all the opulence and splendor.

It was a great honor and responsibility to be chosen to serve her. She was humble and didn’t hit or throw tantrums.  I grew to love her and would do anything for her, even if I had not been her handmaid.

And then she became the favorite.  I kept watch to protect her from the jealousy of others.  I did not know the danger would come from jealousy of her kinsman.

I knew something was wrong but she did not confide in me. I had to wait.  And then she stopped eating.  Alarmed I knew I had to do something.  If something happened to her, I would pay with my life.

I discovered a new law had been written, one that allowed a certain people to be slaughtered on a certain day.  And to inspire compliance, the property of these certain people would pass to those who destroyed them.

I do not understand why anyone would want to kill their neighbor for their possessions but I do know that is the way of man. I had seen to much of death and destruction in my home country. What can one do against such power?

And then I saw a miracle unfold before my eyes.  I did not know that is what it was at the time.  I was frantic that my lady refuses to eat for days.  And then she announces she will go before the king.

No amount of cajoling will dissuade her from her decision.

She has not been summoned and will surely be killed as she approaches.  The only thing that will save her is the king raising his hand.

And he does!

She is that favored. She can be so bold.

He is curious why this lady comes to him and he grants her what ever she will ask.

What does she ask for but to invite him and the most wicked man in the kingdom for dinner.  Now I know she has gone mad. Delirious from hunger, something, for no good thing can happen from these events.

But it does. The king is charmed and offers his lady anything her heart desires.

Another dinner.

Oh, when will this madness stop!? The risks she is taking to have both the king and the most wicked man in her chambers.

I try to warn her. But she reminds me she is the master and I am to do her bidding. With great reluctance  I do as I am told.  Knowing that disaster will strike and we are all doomed.

After what seems like a lovely meal, and the king full of food and admiration, she reveals it is her people that the law was created to destroy.  The wicked man is the one who has created the law. And what is the king going to do about it?

Oh, the chaos that ensues! In those few words, the evening when from an idyllic picture to a life and death situation.  And my lady is the one who brought it about. My heart was in my throat. I could do nothing but watch to see what would happen next.

The king knows he cannot remove a law once it is written.  You would think he would be more careful about what laws he passes. He did alter it and my lady’s people were able to defend themselves.

I had hoped that people would abandon the idea of killing their neighbor for their property when it would not a slaughter but a war.  My hopes were not fulfilled for such is the nature of man.  But many of my lady and her people defeated their foes and kept their lives and their property.

I asked her how she could be so brave and do what is right, even if against the law.  And she told me about her God who is love and is most powerful of all. She told me this God loves even one such as I.

I learned to love God as well.

 

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