Then Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal robes of blue and white, with a large crown of gold and a garment of fine linen and purple; and the city of Susa shouted and rejoiced. For the Jews there was light and gladness and joy and honor.
I think that today’s Daily Verse really talks about staying the course and doing the right thing no matter what. Mordecai saved the King’s life earlier on by exposing a plot against the King, even when he (Mordecai) knew that there was an edict out allowing Jews to be slaughtered and robbed. Despite that, Mordecai did the right thing consistently, advising Esther wisely. Together, with God’s grace, they saved the Jews during King Ahasuerus’ reign; not only saved, but themselves were increasingly blessed. Esther became queen, while Mordecai was honored as the King’s right-hand man. That is what comes of staying the course even in the face of adversity: God rewards people who are faithful to Him even in hard times, even when it feels like God has abandoned us to the world. The story of Esther is one of a woman’s strength, yes, but as in the rest of the Bible it’s really a story of God’s grace, wisdom, and power. Where some people might see a tragedy or hopelessness, God demonstrated His justice. Maybe it’s an American thing, but we always want to see the bad guy trumped, like Haman being hung on his own huge gallows; we want to see the good guy win in the end. Christians haven’t always—and continue not to—live easy lives. Many have died in cruel ways, tortured for their faith; they didn’t live to see God’s triumph, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come. Perhaps the “American thing” of good winning out is actually a residual “Christian thing,” the belief that God is sovereign over all things and that He will conquer evil in the end.
I have less grandiose things to conquer than evil, however—like Calculus. Classes started today and left me feeling more than a little unsure of my abilities. Learning isn’t a problem, but I don’t know that I can remember all these pre-Calculus things I did three years ago. Even the word “radians” sounds strange to my uninitiated ears. On the bright side, Writing about Disease and Public Health started off amusingly with our professor arriving 30 minutes late because he thought the class started an hour later than it did. This, supplemented by a random dove’s frantic circular flight around the classroom (it couldn’t find the two windows we opened) and added to one very strange, very outspoken conservative guy, provided us with great amusement. The conservative opened himself to ridicule by writing on the chalkboard: “Word of the Day: BOTOX: John Kerry face spackle. Normally reserved for Hollywood liberals like Barbra Streisand,” and “MARTINI: Ted Kennedy’s breakfast.” He followed this display by sitting down, reading what he’d just written, and laughing in a curiously disturbing squeak that carried quite well around the room. Yes, laugh at your own lame jokes, Rocky. And weep that you go by the name Rocky.
My apprehension also has begun building as I realize that this IQP is almost completely unstructured—our advisor knows nothing about the marketing of Hollywood scripts, has no plans for us; our meeting yesterday established this most concretely. I don’t know if we’re writing a proposal like Ian’s group did or even what kind of paperwork we’re supposed to come out of this with. Somewhat unstructured I can handle; this complete freeform “make up whatever you want” leaves me feeling altogether unsettled and highly anxious.
Interesting factoid: According to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a man’s sex life can influence his wife’s risk of cervical cancer. The more extramarital sex a husband has while married, the more likely his wife is to develop cervical cancer. The husbands can serve as carriers for human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which are spread through sexual contact with multiple partners, especially prostitutes; the more partners a man has, the greater chance he will contract a HPV. When spread to the wife, HPV is very likely to become cervical cancer. The more infidelity in the marriage, the greater the odds for the wife’s getting cancer: husbands who had more than 21 sexual partners increased their wives’ likelihood of contracting cervical cancer by nine times while husbands who frequented prostitutes increased their wives’ chances of getting cervical cancer by a factor of 11.
– KF –