Life Isn’t Fair (And Never Will Be)
My dear, sweet son,
You’re angry with me tonight. I’ve denied you, and you’re angry.
At this very moment you are in your room, raging about the unfairness of it all. The walls are quaking with your cries, and I see that you are more than defiant, that your frustration is genuine.
I asked you to put on a shirt before we left the house. We’re going out, and while your puppy-belly is adorable, it’s only 50 degrees outside. I realize that wearing your blankie about your shoulders would provide you with the warmth you’ll need, but, well, you’re not Linus, and you’re not two, so, I said no to blankies in public.
(An exception to that rule is hospital visits. I drove like a maniac to get your brother’s yellow blankie the night he broke his arm in first grade. By golly, I could do nothing for his pain and anguish, but I could get that blankie. But, I digress.)
You’ve emphatically stated that life is unfair.
My darling, you are so right!
There is nothing in this world that is truly fair. It’s not fair that some mommies get to stay home every day with their babies, but I didn’t. It’s not fair that some people have housekeepers to vacuum their floors and scrub their toilets, but we do it all ourselves. (Note I said we, lest someday you forget that you, too, scrubbed toilets even at the ripe old age of five. Your future wife will thank me.)
It’s not fair that we have a fridge full of food when families just a few streets over, who have worked hard and lived honestly, have barely anything to eat. It’s not fair that little boys and girls of black eyes, brown eyes, green – as adorable and bright as yours – are hungry tonight. It’s not fair that criminals go free, the righteous suffer, and all over the world, the strong oppress the weak.
This world is anything but fair.
What is also unfair is the daily measure of grace we are so generously afforded by a loving God, who sees none of our constant failures, having been shielded from them permanently by a sacrifice that wasn’t fair, wasn’t just. It’s not fair that we get that grace, so undeserved.
There are some lessons, sweet son, that you must learn and this is one of the most important: life is not fair. Sometimes you will be on the right side of fair, and other times the wrong. Sometimes you will have more while others have less. Sometimes you will have pain, when others do not.
This is not a lesson I want you to learn after you’ve left the shelter of my home and heart, out in the big world all alone. The world will hurt you, and if you expect it to be fair, you will suffer more. Don’t expect fairness, do not seek it. Instead, seek grace. Be grateful when you are on the upside, be patient when you are on the down, be compassionate and generous when you see others who deserve more, but have less.
Above all, wear that grace you’ve been given on the outside, open for all the world to see. Do not keep it hidden. Let it seep from you in great measures and coat all those you encounter. Grace is for the giving – the immeasurable depth of that grace will never run empty, you will always have plenty to share.