“ ‘For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise… from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?’ ” (Esther 4: 14).
The historic events on which this passage from Scripture is based exemplify courage for me. The verses have been an inspiration, over the years, helping me to overcome real and imagined shortcomings.
Esther, you may remember, was a young Jewish woman selected to marry Persian King Xerxes. When an order for the destruction of the Jews came down, Esther was urged by her cousin Mordecai to ask the king that it be rescinded. Though fearing for her life, Esther did speak out. Her intervention saved the Jewish people .
As child abuse victims we were powerless. Even as adults, we cannot help but recall the traumatic experiences we were forced to endure. That fear is, in some sense, still with us.
Rather than a mark of shame, however, the scar is a mark of courage. At our most vulnerable, we somehow survived. That is an enormous achievement.
We stand today in Esther’s shoes. We have the right to speak out; the right to tell our story, even shout it from the rooftops, if we like. Secrecy be damned.
We have the right to take back our lives.
 Purim, the holiday celebrating Esther’s courage and the triumph of her people, falls on March 14 this year.
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