Friday, November 11, 2016

Esther, Star of Persia -Paint Party Friday

This is a Prismacolor pencil drawing of a young friend of mine, Casandra.  She has always reminded me of Esther.  I am posting this older drawing, because I have been so very busy this week--getting ready to produce a new drama--so I've been away from my drawing board.

My original reference pic was lost--but below you get the idea of the beauty and loveliness of this dear young woman, who reminds me so much of Esther.

The true story of Esther is a fascinating one.  Before her name changed, she was known as Hadassah, a lovely young orphan living in a foreign land with her Uncle Mordecai.

It came to pass the King of Persia put on a lavish feast for the kings of surrounding countries.  But when he asked Queen Vashti to come forth and meet the revelers--she refused to obey him.  It was because of her choice, she was no longer queen.

But soon, in a fit of loneliness, the King of Persia decreed the most beautiful and accomplished women be chosen from each province of his kingdom. From these candidates he vowed to choose his Queen.

Because of her exquisite beauty, Hadassah was taken from her home to the King's palace.  There she was given a new name, Esther--which means "star." After months of preparation, she met the King of Persia. The King was so charmed by Esther, he proclaimed her Queen of Persia.

However the King did not know Esther was Jewish. Her Uncle Mordecai had admonished Esther not to disclose her nationality to anyone.

Meanwhile, Haman, an evil man who hated the Jews, had became very powerful. Haman deceived the King into authoring the wholesale slaughter of Jewish men, women and children throughout the entire empire. This malevolent man callously cast lots to determine the exact day they would die. When the date was set, decrees were sent throughout the kingdom and the Jewish people went into mourning.

Mordecai informed the Queen of this decree, asking her to intervene for her people, saying, "And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this?"

Esther had not seen the King for several months.  The law of the land was that anyone who appeared before the king in the inner court without being invited was doomed to die unless the King held out his golden scepter.

Mordecai sent word.  He said, "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 your royal position for such a time as this?”

This brave young woman replied, "I will go before the King, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish." After fasting three days, she carefully adorned herself in rich royal robes. Then she entered the inner Court in front of the King's rooms--uninvited.

When she entered the inner court, the king saw her standing from afar.  His heart turned within him, perhaps he wondered that she would risk certain death to see him.  He welcomed her, held out the golden scepter and she drew near to touch its top.  Thus her life was saved and in the end, the lives of her people.

Queen Esther was a powerful woman. But her power came from something deep within her soul. It wasn't because she was the most beautiful woman in the land. There was something else which caught the King's heart. "Why are you troubled, " he queries. Though Esther must have been terribly frightened, she bravely faced death for the sake of her people. In making herself vulnerable in a time of great danger, she risked everything. Because she did, she saved an entire nation of people from the evil plotting of a murderous man.

Queen Esther was just one woman, but her wisdom, obedience, bravery and trust in God, changed the tide of history itself.

Greatness is when an ordinary person risks everything to do what is right in the face of grave danger. We live in dangerous times.  Life can change in one moment--and an ordinary person may be asked to do the extraordinary.

I believe every woman has a "Queen Esther" deep inside. Each of us has a purpose and have been given great power to influence the lives of those around us. Let us choose to face life with courage, wisdom, and trust in God. Let us speak words of peace and truth to those we love, just as Queen Esther spoke them to her people in the days of Purim.

If you get the chance, read the book of Esther.  It is a wonderful story of a young woman's courage in the face of monstrous circumstances.  It can be found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Thank you for your good thoughts and prayers, dear ones.  Happy Paint Party Friday!


Valerie-Jael said...

Beautiful work, and I always love the story of Esther. Happy PPF, hugs Valerie

Linda Kunsman said...

beautiful and magical drawing Beth!

Christine said...

beautiful work and what an inspiring story Beth!

Lisabella Russo said...

What a beautiful piece of art! Fascinating story too.

Giggles said...

Stunning beauty your friend and your artwork! Wonderful story of Ester too! I love that photo so much... Powerful post!

Hugs Giggles

sirkkis said...

Love your beautiful painting,
Happy weekend xx

Susan said...

Your "Esther" is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing the story. My best friend from long ago was named "Esther" and I am sure she was named for Queen Esther and I never knew it. Happy PPF

Faye said...

Your artwork is gorgeous. I really admire your ability to draw faces at various angles. Esther is a wonderful story and you have told it beautifully. The verse I have underlined in my Bible is chapter 4, verse 14. It shows that the most unlikely people can be chosen by God to deliver a people. Thanks for sharing.

Julene said...

Applying image to the Esther story is lovely. It is an amazing rich and deep. Love the painting of Esther. Thanks for sharing her story.

DVArtist said...

She is gorgeous! You captured the character and essence of your model. Well done indeed.