All week-long I’ve found myself thinking and whispering “It’s not fair.” Those who heard the whispers either completely tuned out or nodded in agreement, even if it was only with their hearts so they dare not be seen agreeing with such a risky statement. Well, it has been one of those weeks where truth rose to the top and wouldn’t be pushed back down no matter who tried to put a lid on it. I believe it started with an email I was reading that had cute fonts and fluffy words with even cuter and fluffier pictures of acres and acres of land, children sliding on sleds, and dogs and family warmly sitting by the fireplace eating gourmet meals. The pictures were BEAUTIFUL, and so were the words. But it unsettled my soul.
As I looked at those happy pictures, behind them I saw silhouettes of men, and women, and children with blankets wrapped around their heads trying to find somewhere to go to escape the cold. The faces were either those I passed in my car on my way to work, or images I’d seen on the news as they discussed the clever ways men and women who have no home, let alone fireplace, are finding to escape the cold to live another day. The juxtaposition of these two scenes in my head would not let me go all week. It brought other thoughts too.
The smartest, most hard-working person on the job doesn’t always get the promotion. I knew that even while I was thinking about fairness, there were thousands fleeing unsafe territories for safer ones, others were probably praying, (and are perhaps even now), to live through another beating from their spouse, escape the hands of an abuser, or fighting a battle of a myriad types – for life. It’s not fair, kept me thinking.
What is fair? Is there a measurement? A standard? If so, where does it come from. Has the entire world agreed to it? Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! The thoughts, were too much. So, I sought God for an answer. Then I remembered that Jesus Christ was born in an “unfair” place – a stable!, during a cruel time, in a place about which was asked, “can any good thing come from…? And He was born there, by His choice. I thought about Jesus walking on earth, touching those on the unfair side: the shamed woman at the well who was dying of thirst and Life, the untouchable woman with the issue of blood, the woman caught in adultery who the ruling class wanted to stone for her actions, the parable He told of the good Samaritan who was the only one who stopped to care for a man beaten and left for dead. And on, and on, and on.
Then, I got excited. Because I knew that God knows. HE KNOWS!!! HE KNOWS exactly what is going on with everyone, everywhere, at every time. And because He knows, I’m confident that no matter what it looks like, HE CARES. Here’s what I’m also confident of, each of us has a role to play in caring for those on the unfair side, realizing, that everyone is on the unfair side, because fairness has nothing to do with material wealth or possessions – which is how we often measure it. Fairness is about being able to live the best life possible within the book-ended story God places us in. And it has nothing to do with material possessions, as they are just as (if not sometimes more) life-threatening than anything else.
Jesus’s earthly life consisted of serving the least of these, and ultimately giving His life up so we could have the pleasure of doing the same. And that’s the exciting part! Though life is beautifully warming and gut-wrenchingly cold sometimes, everyone who knows The Truth about Jesus is to serve the least of these and ultimately give our lives in service, to Him, as He calls us to. When we do so, we will provide resources, hope, warmth and life to those who might just think God has forgotten them. He hasn’t. He’s waiting on you, and me to serve Him, sacrificially, for life. Your calling is on the pages of your story.
My hope and prayer is that you will seize the grandest pleasure of your life by knowing who you are, why you are here, and what you are to do about it.
“If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1John 3:17-18