“And if I perish, I perish.”- Esther 4:16

Queen Esther is one of the many women who sacrificed, spoke truth to power, and made a difference in the male-dominated world during biblical times. Her Uncle Mordica challenged Queen Esther to save her people when their lives were threatened by self-serving Hamen. Hamen wanted to lead the royal court and be revered by the King by any means necessary. However, he had one problem standing in his way, which was Mordica. The only way to get rid of Mordica was to get rid of all the Jews. Fortunately, Mordica finds out about a plan that Hamen had created to present to the King that called for the complete decimation of all Jews, including Queen Esther.

The closest person to the King is the Queen. So, Mordica goes to Queen Esther and asks her to speak to the King to save herself and her people. However, the Queen is not feeling this because it means she could very well lose her life speaking on such matters. After much coercing and prayerful thought, she agrees to talk with the King. She provides specific directions to Mordica, which she concludes, “and if I perish, I perish.” However, she did not perish. She saved her people. Hamen was held accountable for his egregious actions. She proves to be a woman of much strength and courage.

Women have made significant contributions to our history and our military. In honor of  Women’s history month, I pray women continue to lead, speak truth to power, and mentor tomorrow’s leaders. We have the shoulders of giants to stand on, such as Rosa Parks, RADM Grace Murray Hopper, LTJG Harriet Ida Pickett, Ms. Olivia J. Hooker, LT Vivian McFadden, and Ms. Annie M. Grahams. Because of them, we have VADM Michelle Howard, Brigadier General Lorna Mahlock, RADM Lillian Fishburn, Vice President Kamala Harris, and many more. So let us stand firm and allow our voices and visions to be heard and seen.


Reverend Takana L. Jefferson, Chaplain, United States Navy