Oftentimes we are judged, and we judge the actions of others without really knowing who they are, where they come from, or "the why" of their story. As humans, we tend to make rash, harsh decisions based on minor attributes such as appearance and the ability to remain docile within dictated boundaries.
At first glance, we have no regard for the homeless man with tattered clothes and a detestable odor. There is no way that maybe, just maybe, he is a master musician trapped in the destitute life of a vagrant. At first glance, we have no regard for a bold and bald woman who walks with her head held high. There is no way that maybe, just maybe, she is dealing with radiation treatments. There could be absolutely no way that she could be dealing with alopecia. In our futile minds, she must need a man or just lost one! And so, we self-righteously judge others for being the “them you don’t even know.”
Because we judge and we have been judged, we tend to look back over our lives and come to the realization that we have danced to somebody else’s tune. The musically inclined vagabond puts away the guitar. The beautiful woman who boldly lives her truth with alopecia out loud resorts to wigs. The little girl that really wants to play drums is compelled to play the flute instead. How much have you danced to the music of someone else?
There will come a time when God has you choose Him, which is Love, Spirit, and Truth, over everything else. When you have done all the dancing to a sound that you cannot and did not create, there is still something that the soul craves. You will quickly recollect that you were formed before the foundations of the Earth but on Earth, there are things, habits, characteristics, dreams, and desires about you that people do not know. More importantly, you quickly realize that every now and then, your no is necessary!
Photographer James C. Lewis: "Icons of the Bible"
This is right where we find Queen Vashti in the incomplete Book of Esther. Queen Vashti has been mislabeled as disrespectful, wicked, and vain. She was the first wife of King Ahasuerus who holds a banquet in the very place his queen was raised. After seven full days of drinking, the king orders Queen Vashti to parade around at his beckon to display her beauty (possibly interpreted with her crown ONLY). Men. Seven days of partying. Drunk men. Beautiful woman on display? Both Vashti and Esther disobeyed the king. Why is one regarded higher and holier than the other? Queen Vashti, great-granddaughter of King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, said no to having her body used as entertainment. Queen Vashti, the granddaughter of King Amel-Marduk, was a clever politician in lieu of being a spiritual prostitute. Queen Vashti, daughter of King Belshazzar, out of self-respect, had a righteous no that nobody knows.