The pages of my childhood devotional book were like cotton candy to me—sweet, airy threads of words spun into pages of stories that told about God. But the sweetness was not saccharine, and the airiness not empty. It was the sweet lightness of freshly picked fruit—rich, pure, unpretentious—born of sunlight and suffering, simplicity and complexity. Through these stories, I learned about God. I also learned through family, teachers, neighbors, and the words of my Bible and its colorful maps that traced the journeys of God’s people. These words and stories and lives spun a foundation of faith within me . . . an ever-renewing crop of fruit that to this day is always in season, in good times or bad.
Queen Esther had a foundation of faith within her, too. “As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers,” she told God. Threads of words—spun through the centuries and lives of her people—were the bedrock that, in a time of “mortal anguish,” allowed her to know she had recourse to God. From this fruitful foundation Esther powerfully prayed for her people.
Esther’s prayer is a vivid reminder of the importance of telling and retelling the salvation story. Doing so provides a stability we can turn to in times of anguish—or even times of peace and plenty—bearing the fruit of faith for ourselves and, like Queen Esther, for others.