5 Now there was in the citadel of Susa a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, named Mordecai son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, 6 who had been carried into exile from Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, among those taken captive with Jehoiachin king of Judah. 7 Mordecai had a cousin named Hadassah, whom he had brought up because she had neither father nor mother. This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful. Mordecai had taken her as his own daughter when her father and mother died.
Dear God, I read this and I thought of Jair, Shimei, and Kish (verse 5). I don’t know what their lives were like. I don’t know if they were loved, or if they treated people well. But history will remember them as the forefathers of Mordecai, the man who helped save the Jewish people (along with Esther, of course). The details of their lives have fallen away, but each one must have done something right at some point.
I just finished reading a book last night about the Presidents of the United States, and at the end of the book the authors make the point that presidents can’t really be evaluated until some time has passed. For example, Bill Clinton was quoted as telling friends that we won’t be able to judge George Bush’s decisions about Iraq for a long time, but he is confident that George Bush did it because he thought it was the right thing to do for the country.
Sometimes I feel like this as a husband and father. I make decisions, especially as a dad, that I know are not appreciated at the time. They won’t win me any popularity contests, but I am making them so that they kids will have something that they can use, whether in their character or their skill set, twenty, thirty, or fifty years from now. I’ll be dead by the time the book is written on the kind of job I did as a father. Much like Iraq for George Bush, we can’t tell yet what the results are, but I am confident in saying that I did each thing because I thought it was the right thing to do.
Father, much like I prayed yesterday about you overcoming any mistakes I make so that your will is always done in spite of me, I pray that you will overcome the ways I hurt others around me so that your will will be done their lives. I pray that you will help me to keep from hurting those I love, and I am sorry for when I fail them. At the same time, I know I will never be perfect, but I pray that you will overcome my imperfection in their lives.