As I sit here at the Information Booth, I can hear my brothers and sisters in the faith singing “You Reign” in the Assembly Hall on the second floor. The lyrics are even more comforting than they usually are: You reign, over all the earth, we’re singing, You reign, justice and peace, You bring in… Holy One You reign…
I hope I’m not alone when I say that the past few days have been life-changing for so many of us. Many people can choose to dwell on the negative results of Typhoon Ondoy; I think we at Victory Fort choose to dwell on the positives. In the past few days, I personally have stood witness to so many stories of triumph, so many testimonies of what amazing things have happened and continue to happen when the Body of Christ comes together.
I am reminded of the instance in Esther, when the Jew maiden-turned-queen of Persia had to make a decision on whether or not to approach her husband, King Xerxes, to plead for the lives of her people, who were sentenced to genocide by a Xerxes-issued edict upon the advice of his evil prime minister Haman.
Esther knew that if she were to approach the king without permission, she would be put to death, and communicated this to her cousin, Mordecai, who issued this stern rebuttal:
“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (emphasis mine)
We may not be kings and queens, but we are always in a position to be of assistance to someone who needs help; in our helping someone, we become ambassadors of God’s love to that person. God made us exactly who we are because we are unique individuals who can do something for someone, the way no one else can. That you are a student, or a missionary, or a doctor, or an unemployed person who just so happens to know how to swim, is no mere coincidence.
You could be where you are now precisely because you could be someone’s hero.
Of course, Esther eventually gathered up the courage to approach King Xerxes, and in doing so, helped bring justice to her people by unveiling the evil mastermind of the Jewish genocide, Prime Minister Haman. We know that we have our own King, who we can approach, and this King has nothing but the best in mind for us.
Someone I know recently posted about how annoyed he was getting with all the messages thanking God that Typhoon Pepeng did not come into Manila. He said people had died elsewhere, and sarcastically said that our God was good.
He may not have seen God this week – or any other week, for that matter – but I saw God, shining bright as day, and I heard God, loud and clear, in and through His people. Every person who walked through the doors of Victory Fort with relief goods; everyone with a pair of hands to help pack, carry, and deliver; every single man, woman, and child who clearly said, “I am helping my fellow man, in the name of my God.” I saw and heard God this week, and while my acquaintance may not believe it, I do believe my God is good.
The book of Esther doesn’t mention God once. This book reminds us that we don’t have to read the name of God, or see miracles, to know that He’s there and working “behind the scenes.”
You don’t have to be Christian to be a hero; you don’t have to believe in God to make a difference. Whether or not you do it in the name of God, I still see God in you.