Sami Pack-Toner column: Compassion is alive and well in our world

A while back I found myself in quite the situation at my job.

I am the new residential chaplain at Intermountain in Helena. Intermountain’s residential services care for severely emotionally disturbed children in need of hope and healing. I design weekly lessons for the residential children.

Their support comes from a multitude of directions in residential care, and my chapel lessons are a small piece of the puzzle. As their chaplain, I strive to help them build resilience and see God at work in their lives.

On this day, the focuses of our lesson were courage and Queen Esther of the Hebrew Bible. The more adult version of this tale is a violent story of survival. Esther, a Jewish girl, is trafficked into the king’s ownership.

The king is irrational, vicious, and easily persuaded. The King puts leader Haman in charge of a ridiculous amount of the empire. This power goes to Haman’s head, and soon, everyone is expected to bow to him. A Jewish man, Mordecai, who is cousin to Esther, refuses to submit to him. This enrages Haman, and he calls for the destruction of the empire’s Jewish people.

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