If there is an undeniably Jewish thread that runs through Esther's story and is sufficient for showing God's presence, even in the absence of His name, then why do we have to speak God's name in our witness? Can't our lives, too, speak for themselves?
They can, but they don't.
Where there was a Jewish thread running through Esther, most of our lives, at best, have merely a Christian cover.
It's what we do best - we cover our lives with Christian-looking and Christian-sounding things, but they're just decoration. They're just for show. We've got crosses plastered all over our lives like bumper stickers. Words like "pray" and "trust" and "forgive" come out of our mouths, but they're just words. We have Bibles on our coffee tables, but they are just coasters under our coffee mugs. We're living lives decorated in Christian decor, but this is dramatically different than living Christian lives.
You can tell, too, because there's this little part of most of us that is quietly hoping that no one looks too closer. Hoping, but not praying, because if we were actually praying, we wouldn't have to worry so much about it. There's part of us that doesn't want to be asked the questions, that doesn't want to face the trials, that doesn't want our life to be uncovered for what it really is - a charade. A Christian charade.
And look, I get it. A lot of this has to do with the way that the church has done her teaching for so long. The church has pounded into our heads and our hearts that no matter how much we try, we're never going to get it right. No matter what we do, we're still sinners. No matter how faithful we are, we're still hypocrites. The church has tried to teach us to humble ourselves by driving us into the ground until we're stuck. We're just stuck.
It's not real humility, and it's not real faith. It's not a real Christianity, and that's why our lives don't speak for themselves.
What most of us are doing, all while declaring our own sinfulness, is just trying to live "good" lives. We're just trying to live lives that at least look Christian enough to hide our own failures. But you know what? That's what everyone's doing. Everyone is trying to live a "good" life to hide their own failures. That doesn't make us Christian; it makes us human.
What makes us Christians is God's love. What makes us Christians is God's grace. What makes us Christians is God's mercy, forgiveness, redemption. But when you look at most of our lives, we aren't living loved. We aren't living graced. We aren't living mercied, forgiven, or redeemed.
We're living defeated, with psalms tattooed on our forearms and crosses dangling around our necks.
This is not a Christian witness; it's a cover. And it's not enough.