As a younger sibling of two girls, I was often preoccupied with things being “fair.” You know, like the age at which we were allowed to get our ears pierced, or the amount of TV we could watch in a given day/weekend/week, or how many hours of yard work we had to do, etc. I could be rather meticulous in my counting of the “injustices” in the system, so much so that my dad started calling “fair” the other “f” word.
“Life isn’t fair” is a phrase I learned early on, and despite my distaste for the lesson behind it, it has helped me to have more realistic expectations, and even sometimes more compassion. I know people who were born with access to greater opportunities and resources than I will ever have in my lifetime. I also know people who have had to weather far greater than their share of grief and hardship in a fraction of their lives than I may ever face.
Our scriptures this week may feel challenging to us if fairness is what we hope to find in God’s kingdom, because God’s generosity and love do not fit within the confines of our
expectations for what is deserved and unearned. God seems to be more concerned with human flourishing than what may be fair. Perhaps we should be, too.