When Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Esther 4:4
Mordecai was grieving. He wore sackcloth and ashes as a sign of mourning, as was the custom of his people. Esther couldn’t bear to think of him in this much pain so she sent him a set of clothes. He refused them, for his grief was simply too profound.
Each of us expresses pain uniquely. No one can write our script for us, though many try. Sometimes our pain makes others uncomfortable because it tempts them to feel powerless. They may lash out, tell us to get over it, or ‘send us a new suit of clothes’ in hopes that we’ll change our face and our rhetoric. Those who are the most uncomfortable are those who have not had the courage or opportunity to express their own grief. Perhaps the intensity of their emotions frightened them. Or, they might have feared that they faced a deep abyss from which there was no safe return.
Mordecai heard the news of the impending Jewish holocaust. He felt the gravity of the king’s decree. He expressed himself appropriately. The times were dark and weeping was a reasonable response. His refusal to put his grief aside could have been the very thing that got Esther’s attention and ignited her to take courage to intervene. In essence, Mordecai’s actions said to her, “I can not and will not stop grieving. The Jews are facing a crisis. The world feels like it’s coming to an end.”
Oftentimes, I may be the only one who sees the gravity of certain situation. I may express my concern; even show my grief over impending doom. Others may try to tone down my fervent pitch. If I have the courage to persevere – despite their protests – I may motivate them to see that the story is as bad as it is. Only when the truth is faced, can a true solution be entertained and implemented.
Lord, I often see trouble coming before others do. Give me the courage to express myself in a way that reflects the danger without communicating that there is no hope whatsoever. Faith still cries. In Jesus’ name, Amen.