Lent 2020 – Day 8

We’re not the first generation to ask the question of: what the heck is going on?

Ice caps are melting, coral reefs are dying, our world’s burning. Politicians are forthright in their corruption, and there seems to be no justice, no consequences. There is still war going on, and there is always something to protest every single day. Cost of living is rising but our wages are not.

And so much more.

As someone who’s from Malaysia, seeing my country go to the wolves in the span of a week has been both heartbreaking and frustrating. There is nothing the people could’ve done about it because it was all backdoor politics. There was nothing I could do as I watch the drama unfold from Hong Kong.

As I am now currently based in Hong Kong, I’ve willingly spent a lot more nights at home than I ever have in my entire life, because of the Hong Kong protests and now Coronavirus (though the virus did stop the protests, there are still occasional protests).

And my heart is with my American friends, who are all in situations where they have to pick between a rock and a hard place. Not even mentioning their personal problems, from the lack of affordable health care to the fiasco of election year to the persistent racial discrimination, their environment is fraught with anxiety and anger.

In these moments, I fall back on personal testimonies where the underdog wins. God has always favoured the underdog. And one of the many biblical underdogs was Esther (it’s a few short chapters – highly recommend reading it).

She was a Jew brought into the biblical spotlight through a Persian ‘beauty pageant’ which is basically human trafficking/slavery because of power dynamics. Jews were nomads without their city/hometown around this time.

When she became queen – maybe not the best position to dream of being, especially since the book of Esther starts off with a queen being banished forever – she risked her life with every interaction with a chaotically neutral or neutrally evil king (yes, I’m referring to the character alignment chart).

Yet Esther was placed where she was, in the eye of the storm, ‘for such a time as this’. If she didn’t take action and risk her life, her inaction would bring upon the complete destruction of the Jews.

So today my prayer is that with each day, we’re growing to be more and more like Esther in the present world that we get to be born into. God doesn’t make mistakes, and God loves a good underdog story.

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