“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].”
– Hebrews 4:15, Amplified Bible –
I am an Esther in a dash for the throne.
On her heart pressed life-and-death urgency, for thousands of her own.
On mine, the desperation to just get to the King.
She, forbidden to enter, still went.
I, invited–even bidden–hold back.
Her king–austere, vicious, insanely cruel–yet touched, moved by love and her pleading beauty.
My King, of unlistable virtues, of perfectly-melded mercy and justice, so far removed from Esther’s lord that His love seems–almost equally yet oppositely–foolishly mad to spectators blinded by their own cataracts of insanity.
When I close my eyes and finally burst into the court–sometimes heedlessly, sometimes afraid to even lift my eyes from the floor–He is there, at the throne.
From the left of Him stirs the appearance of light. Somehow horrifyingly beautiful, yet teeming with hate. This shadow of a former light accuses me, with twistings of holy speech and quotations from the King’s own words.
I pant, hardly in the door before this attorney begins to present his case.
A closer glance at my antagonist is like staring past a pond’s sheen into the silt beneath its water-film. This adversary’s beauty-cloak covers withered limbs and grotesque features. Bones sucked dry by a self-glorification, only glory’s fading shadow lingering after a failed, ancient coup for the King’s own throne.
But, for a liar, his charges are startlingly true. He trumpets–with a swagger–my secret deeds. Deeds, so nakedly abhorrent, that their vocalization makes me cover my flaming face in horror and guilt.
The greatest Liar does not even need a lie to bring me down.
The chief of false witnesses can rouse up a chorus of griefs in my accusation–and does not even need a false charge because of the abundance of true ones ready to rail against me.
Even from the prince of perjurers, Truth itself condemns me and I am undone.
The illusion of the adversary’s light and beauty again flickers–like a half-smothered candle–with a shaking of his finger in my direction. Sneering over his shoulder, he makes an appeal to the King. “Your own nature will not look over this sin. You cannot let this reprobate go free.”
But the King doesn’t seem to be listening. He stands, looking across the chamber as I shiver in my self-inflicted misery.
“Hello?” The accuser waves his hand to attract the Monarch’s notice. “Didn’t you hear what I said? Aren’t you paying attention?”
The King’s eyes turn from me. Sternness tinges the King’s gaze as he looks at the figure dwarfed beside him. “Do you know what she’s wearing?”
The swagger sort of drips off of the attorney. “Uh…” His eyes dart at me and his face drains bloodless. “Ah…” The court echoes with his frantic scurry for the exit.
Glory shines from the King’s smile then. He holds out his hand to me. “You’re wearing the Prince’s robe, I see.”
I look down and find my tattered-kneed jeans and mud-stained shirt replaced by a dress so white my eyes feel washed just by seeing it.
“I…” I finger the hem, not believing I’d been able to forget. “Yes, yes I am.”
His hand feels at once firm and ineffably tender on my shoulder. “Welcome, my child.”
I am an Esther, touching the scepter, finding favor in the eyes of her King.
It took the first Esther months of extravagant perfumes and oil treatments to be considered pure and lovely enough to step into the room of royalty.
For me, it took a white dress. One brilliantly white gift of a dress, that I had forgotten I was wearing.
One dress, and I was throne-ready. Ready for a dash that was no longer a thoughtless rush or a frantic throwing-open of the doors to get the frightening thing over with. Instead, I was covered in Princely clothes and treated as an heiress of the King.
“The dress,” I turn and see the Prince who had given it to me all those years ago. “I remember. Thank you.”
His extended hand, stabbed-through by my deeds, reminds me of the rags and filth He put on in order to put this white cloth on me.
He smiles and points at the streak of black lightning long fled from His presence. “Who can separate you from me, beloved one?”
“No one,” I whisper.
And so it is, that prayer becomes so much more than an obligatory whisper while half-asleep. So much greater than mere conversation to a celestial being or a hurried wish list recitation.
I, before my King, have a greater hope than Esther when I raise my face.
As long as my King rules, the white dress I so often forget gives me entrance to sit at His feet.
That is saying a lot, since His reign will always be.
The great thing in prayer is to feel that we are putting our supplications into the bosom of omnipotent love.
– Andrew Murray –