Well, later that day the order came down from the palace for all of the most beautiful young women in the kingdom to come to the palace. The king would select one of them to be the new queen. Mordecai got a little worried because Esther was just the same age they were looking for and very beautiful. He hurried home that afternoon anxious to see and talk to her.
He arrived home to a find a guard from the palace outside his door. He went in just in time to see Esther finish packing to go to the palace…
Mordecai: Esther, my child! Is it true? Have you been chosen to go to the palace to be one of those that may be selected as the new queen?
Esther: Yes, cousin Mordecai. I don’t want to go. But, I have to go. I have no choice. It is the King’s command. There is a guard waiting to take me. I am so frightened! How will I live away from you? Who will take care of you?
Mordecai: Oh, my child! I do not want to believe it, but, we must accept the will of the King. Sit down for a moment and we will pray before you go.
O Lord of the Heavens and the Earth! O Lord the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, watch over this child of yours, my young cousin Esther that has been as a daughter to me these many years. Please watch over her and guide her. Let her know that she will never be out of your sight and that you will protect her for I know that she has loved you from her youth.
Esther, my child, be strong and very courageous. That is what Joshua told his people when they were about to enter the land of Israel. You must also be strong and very courageous for I believe that, perhaps, you were created for such a time as this.
Do not tell the people in the palace that you are Jewish or that you are my cousin, for you know that Haman hates me and all of our people. Promise me, now…
Esther: I promise, my cousin. You have been like a father to me, and I will be strong and very courageous for I do know that the Lord is with us His children and I will obey your word. It is time for me to go now.
Mr. Mathisen: So off she went to the palace, Mordecai did not know if he would ever see her again.
Stanley: (Sniffing & crying a bit) That’s so sad…was she ever heard from again??
Mr. Mathisen: Yes, Stanley, she was, that’s why we are telling her story!
Stanley: (Sniffing and sounding more cheerful) Oh, yeah, that’s right…ok, what’s next?
Mr. Mathisen: Esther bravely went (well, she was trying to be brave anyway) to the palace to be prepared to meet the king. She wasn’t really sure how she felt about the possibility of becoming the queen of the mighty Persian empire.
She looked all around her street as she followed the palace guard. Tears began to well up in her eyes. So much so that, it became a little hard for her to see as she walked slowly away from her home and the familiar street she had grown up on. Everything was just a little blurry…