Monday, October 24, 2005


The following is an adapted and expanded version of an article written for the children and youth of Lowe's Grove Baptist Church which will be published in our newsletter next month.

"That's not fair." Kids say that a lot. It's unfair that Julie has ice cream and Sally doesn't. It's unfair that Carrie got the lead role in the play and Mike has to play the Christmas tree again. It's unfair that Tommy made the All Star team while Judy had to settle for the same "Good Sport" everyone else got - including Tommy.

It is little wonder why kids get so bent out of shape about fairness. They are raised in a culture which trivializes justice and judges. Just look at this small survey of our TV programming: We have Judge Judy, Judge Wapner, Judge Joe Brown, Court TV, Night Court, Divorce Court, Moral Court, Curtis Court and, my personal favorite, Texas Justice. Get the picture?

But look at the Psalms. Over and over again the they beg for justice to be done, not for the sake of the Psalmist's own righteousness, but for the sake of God's. We must remember, there is a big difference between wanting what we deserve and wanting what we THINK we deserve. We don't "deserve" justice, God gives it freely.

One month after his ten-year-old daughter Laura Lue died of leukemia, John Claypool preached a meditation on the sacrifice of Isaac. John was of course questioning the fairness of what happened to him. How could God be just when Isaac survived and Laura Lue did not?

Distraught, John was at a crossroads. He could remain where he was, paralyzed by his loss, or he could seek to find a way out of his grief. John said that the only way to enter back into the world of the living after such a tragedy is to begin walking toward what he called "the road of gratitude." This is the path of remembering that all life is gift - "pure, simple, sheer gift - and that we here on earth are to relate to it accordingly" (Tracks of a Fellow Struggler, Word Books 1978, pp.73-74).

Life's not fair. Life is gift. So let's celebrate it accordingly. Today and forever.

Grace and peace and justice in God,