As a little girl I grew up in a wonderful, yet conservative Christian home. We did not celebrate Halloween, but rather we would have a “Fall Festival” on the church grounds in which candy was passed out, but never enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.
We were allowed to dress up but it had to meet Biblical guidelines. So, my choices were automatically limited as a girl.
Should I choose Ruth? Nah, all that grain gleaning isn’t glamorous enough for a 10-year-old.
What about Mary? Ehhh, nobody wants to see child pretending to be preggers.
I thought about Mary Magdalene, but I wasn’t that strong of a runner, so there goes that.
Which left me with the only obvious choice for the third year in a row: I would dress up as Queen Esther.
Esther was a Jewish girl who received the favor of the king’s attendant and because of that favor she was elevated above the competition to be the next queen. Scripture also tells us that Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her and when she was introduced to the king, he favored her over all the other virgins. Because of this divine favor, a simple girl becomes royalty and is crowned Queen of Susa.
With all that favor, who wouldn’t want to dress up as Esther?!
But what we find if we keep reading the book of Esther is that she was given that favor so that she could save the Jews from a genocide. However, she had to be willing to risk her life in order to save others. Esther was willing to use her influence to approach the king (an unthinkable and unprecedented thing!), and because she did a favorable outcome was given to the Jews and Esther’s family and the Jewish people were saved.
If I could go back in time to the days of Fall Festivals, I would tell my 10-year-old self, “Self, don’t be dismayed that you find yourself dressing up as Queen Esther for the third year straight. Instead, see it as an opportunity to not only be royalty for a night, but also as a chance to learn what it means to be willing to stand up for what is right, even when it’s difficult…even when it could cost you dearly. That’s what it means to live a life of favor.”