A Calvin Theological Seminary Publication by Students & Alumni
For Such A Time As This

For Such A Time As This

—a bitter humor—

A blessing run amok

I did not ask for this:

Beautiful and appalling.

Volatile, voiceless

Disturbing reality of a God

gone silent

for such a time as this.

I did not ask for this:

Abandoned, reaching, trembling.

“Cursed be Haman!”

“Blessed be Mordecai!”

I’m drunk, it all looks the same.

What did you want me to say?

What part was I meant to play?

For such a time as this:

Reeling, unprepared, unknowing.

For me, Thou hast no miracles;

the embrace of the oppressor’s hold

still at my throat.

Memory’s aggression

Screams out from the silence

Urging us to action,

even hope.

These were the images that shook out in my reading of Esther paired with readings from Ellen Davis’ Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament. I was moved by Davis’ insistence that “[Esther] belongs in the canon for the tragic reason that it speaks directly to and for those who experience the threat and reality of persecution and genocide.” So often we thrill at the line “for such a time as this” as if it belongs on an inspirational Instragram quote (wrongly attributed to CS Lewis or Abraham Lincoln) more than as a connection to the psalms of lament. In working through this piece I could feel my own sharp lament connecting with a woman thrust into a story beyond her choosing, or comprehension—which is the shared story of so many mothers of the Church.

The ending was difficult as I’m tempted to leave it unfinished and a bit angsty. But lament is a signpost, not a stop-sign; it should persuade us to keep moving. The testimony of suffering should move us to both action and our hope that even in God’s silence we can witness his sovereignty. 

Aleah Marsden is an MDiv student in her final year of Calvin Theological Seminary’s distance learning program. She lives in Northern California with her husband and four children. For more of her writing and links to other published work visit: AleahMarsden.com or connect with her on Instagram or Twitter.