This is an original composition based on the book of Esther. It is an idea of what she might have been thinking and feeling. The piece was written in January 2012, and was a creative interpretation assignment for a high school Old Testament Survey Class. Please enjoy!
Painting by Edwin Long, 1878
Sometimes I feel so alone. My parents have died, and all my friends are different than me. I am different than all the other girls I know. None of the other girls are Jewish, they worship many gods. Their names are different, and they act differently as well. They have different traditions, they eat different foods, and they have many family relatives and great amounts of money. Most importantly, they all have parents. Now I am very thankful for Mordecai for taking care of me all these years, for being like a father to me. Still, he is not my father. I want to trust that God has a purpose for me here in Persia. But right now, I feel so alone.
Today we heard that Queen Vashti is no longer queen! Apparently, While King Xerxes was indulging during his banquet, he felt the need to show off his wife publicly. Now if I was queen I would not like to be paraded around, with all sorts of most likely drunk men looking at me! I suppose this is how Queen Vashti felt too, because she refused to show herself to her husband, the King. Now King Xerxes has banished her from the throne. I do not like how he has treated Queen Vashti, I do not that is how a husband should act, no matter if he is the king or not. If I were the queen I think I would have wanted to respond the way she responded, but I do not know if I would have had the courage to. Of course this would never happen, why would I ever stand before the King?
I am so overwhelmed right now! Everything in my life has changed. I have been taken from my home and the little family that I have and been brought to the king’s palace with many other girls. We are here because the king misses Queen Vashti body. Now he wants to find another woman to suite his pleasure, so many of us girls have been forced from our homes so he can take inventory. Hegai, the man who was put in charge us, has been very kind to me. He is making sure that I have the food I need, and maidens to take care of me. I feel blessed because of him. Also, Mordecai told me to keep my Hebrew heritage and faith a secret. I am trying my best to honor him and do as he wishes, but it is hard! I do not know how to act like the other Persian girls. I miss my home so much, even though Mordecai has been visiting me every day.
I am so scared, for the time I have been dreading yet waiting for has come. Tonight I must go and sleep with the King. A year I have been preparing for this moment, being beautified in every way imaginable. Now I have to go and try to impress the king in bed! I am not ready for this, and I do not think I want to be ready. I am a virgin, and I do not know what I am doing. How am I supposed to please an old and experienced man? I do not know if I should even try to please him. Maybe if he does not approve of me, then my life will get back to normal. However, if he somehow senses that I am not trying my best to bring him pleasure, he could assume that I am mocking him and have me beheaded. I am not called to honor elders and authorities? I do not know what to do or how to feel. I do not understand how God could have a purpose in this.
So much has happened; I do not know how to process it! First of all, my night with the king was unbelievable! I could have never imagined such love and passion as I experienced that night. King Xerxes was so kind and gentle with me, and the way he touched me was so perfect. I felt completely safe in his arms, and I knew that he loved me. I knew because I didn’t adorn myself in unnecessary ways. If the king was going to see and spend time with me, it would be the real me. King Xerxes has now chosen me as his queen. I have a crown to prove it. We have all been enjoying a grand wedding feast, and I feel very happy. I am not sure if I even know what love is, but I do think I am in love with King Xerxes. The only thing that worries me is that my new husband still does not know of my Jewish heritage and faith. I want to share everything with him, but I need to honor Mordecai’s wishes. He has a lot of wisdom, and I know there must be a reason he asked me to keep it a secret.
Little did I know that my new husband would such a death target! Today Mordecai informed me that two men were scheming to kill my husband, King Xerxes! This upset me a lot, but on top of that, I had to go to the king and tell him this hard information. But because I took action and obeyed Mordecai, these horrible men have been caught and they will be put to death. I made sure to give all the credit to Mordecai. I am starting to understand some of my relative’s great wisdom. I am starting to understand that if I simply trust and obey, no matter how hard it is, that I will be blessed. I wonder, does this apply to my relationship with God as well?
Right now I am sort of worried. King Xerxes has brought a man named Haman to come help him rule over the people of Persia. The king finds much favor in Haman, and he had elevated him over everyone, giving him almost as much power as King Xerxes himself. I am glad that my husband has found a man that can keep him company, who he can confide in. Yet, there is something about Haman that makes me uneasy. Maybe I am just an attention seeking wife, but I do not think so. I sometimes sense tension between the two of them, and it makes me worry.
I love and respect my relative Mordecai so much. He raised me and always treated me like his very own daughter. That is why it worried me so much when I found out that he was outside crying and wearing sackcloth. The reason however was the most upsetting, and it confirmed my suspicions about Haman. I found out from Mordecai through messengers that he had refused to bow down to Haman. This didn’t surprise me at all, for Mordecai is a man of great and strong faith. I know that it would go against his convictions to bow to anyone except God. This angered Haman so much that he tried to bribe my husband to execute all those of Jewish heritage! Now Mordecai wants me to go to my husband the king and appeal this royal decree. Lately I have been doubting my relationship with King Xerxes. I hope that he still finds favor in me, for he has not asked to see me for thirty days. This makes me feel especially skeptical of going to my husband uninvited and trying to ask for something. He has every power to have me killed, just for entering into his presence without an invitation. However, I know that if I do not approach him, I will be killed, along with my only father-figure and many other innocent Jews. Nerveless, this does not make me any less afraid to go and talk to King Xerxes. Now something just that Mordecai said to me through message keeps popping up in my head: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” This could be why the king found favor in me; this could be why I was chosen to be queen. This could be the Lord’s plan and purpose for me. If so, why am I still so afraid? I know that Mordecai and many Jews are fasting while praying for me, but I cannot feel it. I feel completely alone, without any support. Yet I know what I must do: trust and obey, no matter how hard it is.
Well, I did it. Now looking back, I know that the Lord was with me. I entered into the room where my husband the king was sitting, and he was happy to see me. I was so happy to see him as well, and I wanted to just run into his arms and receive the comfort that I needed. However, I knew that I could not do that. I had to be strong and poised for everything to work. I invited the king and Haman to eat dinner with me. When they came that night, I could tell that Haman was feeling pretty good about himself, and I did not like that one bit. King Xerxes then asked me what I really wanted, offering me greatness just so his curiosity would be eased. I invited them to come to dinner again, and then I would speak my mind. When they left, I felt worried, but I felt stronger and had confidence in my actions.
I feel the blessings of the Lord raining down on me. I now see how God worked everything together to glorify him. I am overwhelmed with the way that God used me in such a big way. I feel honored to be part of his perfect plan. I had my second dinner with King Xerxes and Haman. When Haman came in that night, I knew that something was upsetting him, but I had no idea that it was directly related to Mordecai. After the meal was done, my husband again asked me what I desired. Not quite sure how to proceed, I blurted everything out. I told my husband that my desire was to live, along with the rest of the Hebrew nation. And the climax: I told the king that it was all Haman’s fault. What happened next just reinforced my husband’s amazing love for me. Like a good husband and king should, he made everything right. In that same day, Haman was hanged on the gallows he had personally prepared for Mordecai. All of Haman’s possessions were given to me, and I in turn gave it all to Mordecai. The king gave Mordecai his signet ring, giving Mordecai all the authority that Haman had had. Mordecai and I revealed our relation to the king, who loves me still, even though I am not of his own race. Finally, a law has been passed by the king and Mordecai that gives all Jews the freedom to defend themselves against anyone who tries to hurt them on the day that Haman appointed for our doom.
I look back on my early years as queen and I have both wonderful and fearful memories. I now understand why it needed to be me that became queen. I understand why I had to go through the things that I did, so God could make an impact in my life and save his chosen people from destruction. Now I have the blessing of mentoring other Jews, along with Mordecai. I am also striving to teach my step-son of the ways of the Lord, so he may be a strong leader when his father dies. I know though that I am not better than any other young woman. I choose to trust and obey, no matter how hard it was, and because of that, a nation was saved and a heart was deeply changed.