“Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion.” // Esther C 24 in the NAB
It was my first really big job. High pressure, high demands. It didn’t help that my boss was wildly erratic and abusive. Occasionally he would throw things across the room—sometimes he’d throw things at people. He was prone to fits of vulgarity and shouting. He had a very high-profile job and was under a great strain himself. Despite his temper, he was a brilliant guy, a remarkable problem solver, and I suspect this brilliance probably excused years of bad behavior.
Still, I was pretty young and deeply introverted. Tantrums, swearing, and throwing things were never part of my home or professional life experience. I was intimidated by these outbursts—they were designed to intimidate—and I had to learn a whole new set of interpersonal skills to do my job.
It was in these years that I got to be especially good friends with Queen Esther from today’s First Reading. I thought of her often quaking before her king in “mortal anguish.” My situation wasn’t life-threatening as hers was—she was trying to save her people from genocide—but I still took Esther as my model, crying out to the Lord to protect me and to give me the right words at the right time. I carried this verse with me: from my bible’s translation, “Put eloquent speech in my mouth before the lion” (Esther C 24 in the RSV-SCE).
Though I wouldn’t want to go back to that position, I have to confess I am thankful for it now. God often places us in situations we don’t feel fit to handle—and we probably aren’t—except for His grace, His power, His majesty.
That experience was a wonderful reminder, just like Queen Esther, never to bend to any ruler but the Lord. He alone is my King, and I will bow before no other.
Is there a lion in your life? Some area where you feel especially intimidated? Spend some time with Esther and with her King, your King, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Let Him teach you about lions, kings, and beloved queens.He alone is my King. // Liz Kelly Click To Tweet