Sunday, March 8, 2009

Inspriation from Esther's Courage

Today is International Women's Day and I have decided to participate in the synchroblog. You can find a list of other posts here.
The topic we are asked to write about Biblical women. However, I have to admit that beyond the basic telling of most of the stories about the women of the Bible, I don't know much else about them. I know who Ruth is, I know who Mary (Jesus' mother) is, and I just recently found out really who Jezebel is. As I thought about writing this post, I tried to think about what woman I most admire from the Bible or the one who I know the most about... and no one really came to mind. Although I never went to a church that taught women were less than men, I also never really focused on a woman from the Bible unless it was to say what a Christian woman should look like (meek, kind, even on the verge of a doormat).
I started to wonder why this was that I never really heard about the women of the Bible and really dug into their stories. Is it because the men are afraid of strong women, so teaching about them makes them even more uncomfortable? Are they just as uneducated about the women of the Bible as I am? ... Truth be told, I really don't know the reason.
I admire the courage of Esther, the strength and lack of self-consciousness of Mary Magdalene, and the faith of Mary, Jesus' mother. But I don't really know about these women. Who were they, what were their lives like, what was the culture like that they were living in? However, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I never really learned about anyone in the Bible with any sort of depth.
But why not focus our time and energy on realizing the amazing women who are either mentioned or even have whole books written about them? These women lived in a time where women were seen as their husband's property, right next to their cattle. And yet these women stood out and showed their strength in the face of oppression and hardship. They showed their true, beautiful selves. I wish I could be like any of the women of the Bible who had the strength to stand out from the crowd and show how amazing they are.
From the little I know of her, Esther is definitely my favorite because she not only stood out from the crowd, she had enough love and compassion to risk her own life to save a whole group of others from certain death.
I want to be like Esther-- I want to lay down my own life and desires to make life better for someone else, if not a whole group of people. To not look at the obstacles, but look at the potential for a better ending-- that's the kind of life I want to live. I hope it never comes down to me having to lay my life down for someone or something, but if it did, I pray I have the courage of Esther to do whatever it takes to change the lives of others and the world.
I hope Esther and the other women of the Bible inspire others today and throughout the year to live their lives to the fullest and to be strong in the face of oppression.

No comments: