New Clothes

Esther 4:4 – 5 “When Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. Then Esther summoned Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.”

Years ago, when I still lived in the big city, I pulled up to an intersection. A young man sat on the side of the road with a sign, “Will work for food.” Something in his eyes stirred the compassion in me, and I pulled out all the money I had – a whopping two dollars. I also had a gospel tract, and I rolled down my window and held the bundle out to him.

He immediately grew bitter, and sneered, “How is that supposed to help me?”

I was shocked. I was offering all I had. Then I looked at my hand. From his angle, all he could see was the tract. I flipped my hand where he could see the money, and his expression softened. He took it, and said “Thank you.”

Friends, we live in a hurting world. Just like Mordecai, people are weeping and wailing. They may not be doing so on the outside, but many, many people are walking around with hurting hearts. When Esther heard what a spectacle Mordecai was making of himself, she sent him new clothes. Yes, he needed some new clothes. But there was something he needed more. He needed to be heard, to tell his story. New clothes were not going to change his situation.

Sometimes, we Christians are too quick to diagnose a “one size fits all” Jesus cure to everyone we see, without really taking the time to know people. Yes, Jesus heals hurting hearts. But before people will accept Him, they need to be heard. They need to tell their stories. They need to know that we care.

When Esther offered new clothes to Mordecai, she didn’t take the time to find out what was wrong. But when she sent someone to listen to him, he responded. When we offer Jesus to people without first showing them we care, they will reject Him every time. But when we love them, listen to them, and show compassion, they will respond.

Dear Father, Please forgive me for times that I have come across as pushy and uncaring. Please help me to show compassion to everyone.


5 Responses to New Clothes

  1. June 26, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    I still am to soon to talk..not really listening.
    hen I cannot do anything else I will offer to pray or talk to God about my fellows’ problems. When my father lived, I’d always call him for prayer-help.
    When I colleague of mine was diagnosed with cancer, the other said, don’t worry, Elise’s father is praying for you.
    I was shocked, I had not phoned my Dad for help in this special situation.
    I did not hesitate to make the call, though, and today, ten years after, the woman is still alive and cancer free. (she was treated in a hospital, though, but she’s giving God the honor).

    Come to think of it, like Esther and yourself, one should always act when one meet people in need. Even if it’s not the right respond, one will in due time get to know what the problem really is.

    Guess I’ve got a lot of action in front of me, if I’m gonna follow my own thoughts of today.

    From Felisol

  2. June 26, 2008 #

    I don’t know if you know this Renae, but until quite recently, Catholics weren’t encouraged to read the Bible. We listened to the Word of God at Mass on Sunday, and that was deemed to be enough.

    I doubt that my dad ever opened a Bible. And yet he was, without doubt, the most truly Christian man I have ever met. He would help anybody, whether he knew them or not. He had a kind word for everybody – and if he didn’t have a kind word, he kept quiet. I never heard him say a bad thing about anyone. He liked nothing better than rolling his sleeves up and getting involved, and everyone who knew him knew that they only had to ask and he would drop everything and pitch in.

    My dad didn’t need a Bible. He lived the gospel every day of his life.

    (And I’m pretty sure he’s keeping heaven running smoothly as we speak)!

  3. June 26, 2008 #

    Wow. Both of your comments about fathers, though you had no idea what the other was writing. Men have such a powerful influence on their daughters, don’t they? It is so wonderful when we have fathers who model God’s love for us.


  4. June 26, 2008 #

    So insightful, R. As always, love reading your thoughts. And LOVE this book!

  5. June 26, 2008 #

    Thanks, TJ! Hope you had fun on your trip! 🙂

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