The Courageous Queen

The queen’s hands shook as she pulled on her gown. Nervousness crept up her spine, and butterflies filled her stomach. The queen did not know it yet, but her bravery would save her people from Haman’s evil grasp.

Esther’s servant girl, Leila, gently brushed her (Esther’s) raven black hair. The genuine tears of Leila broke Esther’s compassionate heart. Leila was sensitive to the feelings of others. She had cried desperate tears for Esther’s life when Esther went to petition the king that horrible day, even to the point of praying to Adonai. After Esther came back alive, Leila believed Adonai was real.

“Dear Queen Esther, shall we pray that you will not be nervous?” Leila asked. Esther smiled at the tear-stained face. “Of course, Leila,” Esther said, taking the young twelve-year-old girl’s hand in hers. Leila offered a sweet prayer for Esther, then Esther made her way to the banquet room.

“Ah, look who has come here!” King Xerxes smiled at her. Esther, in all her nervousness, managed to flash her dazzling smile at him. “Dear Queen Esther!” Haman grinned at her. Esther eyed the evil man cautiously, then rested her gaze on the king, who looked restless to hear her request. “My lord, was the food good?” she inquired of him. The king gazed at the young, slim figure, then answered, “Yes, dearest queen, your cook, Fatemah, is trained well. Now, Esther, what is your request?”

Esther’s feet shook. Her palms felt hot. Her mind raced back to a little girl’s cries and a dying man’s last words. “Hadassah, you are a myrtle; a girl who loves others. Remember that, Hadassah. Remember.” “Abba, I’ll remember, I will, I will!” the little girl cried. Yes, Abba, Esther thought, I remember. Esther held her head a little higher. I am a myrtle, she thought. I am also a star. I will shine for my people.

“My lord,” she began, trembling, “I, and my people, are in danger. We are to be killed, young and old, every one of us!”

The king stood up, confusion and pure anger-written on his face. “Esther, this could never happen to you! I don’t understand, my dear! Explain!”

Esther was in tears. She buried her face in his chest, afraid to say the next words. “Dearest,” she whispered, “I-I-am-a-a-Jew!”

Suddenly, King Xerxes pulled Esther off his chest and sprinted to the outdoor garden. Haman sat close by the queen, stunned and frightened. He ran to Esther’s side. “Dear queen,” he screeched, “you must save me! I am going to die, dear Queen Esther!”

Esther shook wildly as Haman pulled her back and forth. “Stop, Haman!” she screamed. “Dearest king, HELP!”

“HAMAN!” The king’s eyes flamed with hatred as he spoke. His face was red with anger. He bellowed, “Get your evil hands off my queen!” Haman, pale with terror, quickly pulled away from Esther. “Soldiers!” King Xerxes commanded. “Take this wicked man to the gallows he made for Mordecai!” The soldiers swiftly obeyed, and Haman was no more.

~Two months later~

Esther smiled as Mordecai came down to the throne. King Xerxes slipped his signet ring on Mordecai’s finger. Esther lovingly placed a beautiful robe on his shoulder. The king motioned to Mordecai, and Mordecai began his speech.

Mordecai spoke about a new decree for the Jews. Hope was not over, he assured them. The king, after Mordecai had spoken, declared, “Mordecai is now second in command. He is my most trusted official. He is given my signet ring to seal the new decree.”

King Xerxes laid an affectionate hand on Esther’s shoulder. “As for Esther,” the king announced, “she will be remembered by all her people. Because of her courage, her people were saved!”

Esther, with her dazzling smile, walked down the aisle of cheering Jews. Courage, she thought, that is all it took.

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The Courageous Queen

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