Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 10: Rising to the Occasion

As my children watched Disney's The Lion King the other night, I thought to myself, "What an amazing story of realizing one's purpose." In this classic Disney film, a young Simba struggles with his role as heir to his father Mufasa's throne. He sings "I Just Can't Wait To Be King" while dreaming of the freedom and authority of being king one day. Yet he wants no part of the responsibility of becoming king. After Simba's uncle, the wicked Scar, orchestrates Mufasa's tragic death, Simba runs off to live with some fun, but lazy, friends. Their motto is "Hakuna Matata" or "No worries."

Yet, as time progresses, Simba's best friend Nala finds him hiding in the desert. She tells him of the desolation of his home at the hands of Scar and his entourage of hyenas. Simba can no longer hide from his role in the "Circle of Life." He has to return to his home and rescue the Prideland and his loved ones. He must reclaim his purpose as king.

There is also a young woman in the Bible who, like Simba, must rise to the heights of her destiny. Advised by her Uncle Mordecai to hide the fact that she's a Jew, she eventually marries Xerxes, the King of Persia. When Xerxes' highest noble, the conniving Haman, devises a plan to annihilate the Jews, Mordecai challenges Esther. He admonishes her to expose Haman's evil scheme, asserting that perhaps she's been elevated to the King's palace, "for such a time as this." Yet to do so could cost Esther her life, since approaching the king without being summoned was punishable by death.

But Esther does not allow the threat of death to deter her calling, her destiny, her purpose. Her words live on in the annals of Holy scripture:

"Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish." Esther 4:16
Esther was willing to die for her people. She was willing to die for righteousness' sake. She refused to stick her head in the mud, continue living a lie and watch her people perish.

And we must do the same. Like Simba, we cannot go on living carefree while others around us languish. Like Esther we cannot go on living in the palace while our people perish daily. We must fight for justice amongst us. We must call out evil around us.

I know what you're saying. But I'm only one person. What kind of difference can I make in the world? Well...

Martin Luther King, Jr. was one person. And he said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Mother Teresa was one person. And she said, "If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

Esther was one person. And she said, "If I perish, I perish."

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and author of Night, is also one person. And he has committed his life to fight injustices like the one he survived in Nazi concentration camps. When he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, he said:

"And then I explain to him how naive we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to remain silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Whenever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must -- at that moment -- become the center of the universe... Human rights are being violated on every continent... Human suffering anywhere concerns men and women everywhere... Our lives no longer belong to us alone. They belong to all those who need us desperately."

We, as God's children, must take sides. Our lives belong to those who desperately need us.

In my tiny sphere of influence, I am committed to fighting for justice. Will you fight along with me?

Purposed for Him,



  1. Where's the "I love this more than words can express" button?

  2. Thanks, Michelle! You are precious...

  3. If I perish - I perish. Thanks Chelle!

  4. I'd love for you to put all that you have posted so far into a book so I can re-read it and hand it off to a bunch of other people :)

  5. Thanks Jennifer! I love Esther's courage too.

  6. Sherrie, I am praying about that next step -- a book. Honestly, I'm petrified about it though. Pray for me, Girl. :-) Thanks for your encouragement!

  7. Neutrality and silence just as bad as being on "the other side". I knew that was not good, and then reading this today brought an A-HA! jolt. For self or for others, ignoring something (like the elephant you wrote about a few days back) only makes things worst. I'll keep that in mind. A lot of courage and also tact needs to go into advocacy for justice, but the thing is to help and defend those that are in bad shape to defend themselves... the full-on slogan of "WWJD?" in action. (And P.S. I second the comment of publishing this blog stuff. Could be your first book that you dreamed about since you were a little girl! ;-)

  8. Thanks Zarina! An A-HA jolt -- I'm hoping God's using these blogs to share the A-HA jolts He's already done to my heart. Thanks for reading and for your enthusiastic feedback!

  9. Incredible post, Carla! I'm going to forward this to a friend. We both feel called to help end human trafficking and like you said, I feel like I'm just one person... what difference can I make. But I know it would be dishonorable for me to do nothing.

    Thank you Carla!