What God Whispered When I Said Life Wasn’t Fair


“That’s not fair!”


I’ve said that a fair number of times in my life. Just ask my parents, teachers, or brothers. I’ve always had my justice binoculars handy, scanning my life for unfair, and I’ve found plenty. One day, however, God gently reminded me that I was looking through the wrong end of the binoculars. Embarrassed, I turned them around, and I saw that the unfair-ness in my life was far worse than I thought.  Here’s what I saw:


It’s not fair that I was born into the 12th wealthiest country in the world and not in NIger, let’s say, where 10 million live in extreme poverty.

It’s not fair that I’ve made as much as $40/hr in my work while other Americans working equally hard have never made more than $10/hr, and laborers in Ghana average 8 cents per hour.

It’s not fair that my wife, Joy, has been able to bear children when millions of women worldwide can’t.

It’s not fair that I’ve secured a $6,000 low interest loan in 60 seconds when other honest hardworking people desperate for a loan can’t get one at all.

It’s not fair that my great great grandfather was a slaveowner and not a slave.

It’s not fair that my wife has stayed with me for 36 years of marriage while millions have heard someone who vowed “I do” later say “I don’t.”

It’s not fair that I live near dozens of clinics and hospitals when millions worldwide don’t live within 50 miles of just one.

It’s not fair that I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket when I’ve sped as much as my brother and he’s been ticketed repeatedly.

It’s not fair that I once bought a riverfront house in Massachusetts without having a job or a down payment. (Yes, it was Countrywide Mortgage, now that you ask.)

It’s not fair that my wife survived her cancer when millions of other haven’t.

It’s not fair that my parents are alive and well into their eighties when Rachel Held Evans died at 37 leaving two children without a mom.

It’s not fair that I have eyesight when 39 million people worldwide, including my dad, are blind.

It’s not fair that I make more money in a year than 99.5% of the world. (Globalrichlist.com)

It’s not fair that I fall asleep within 5 minutes of getting in bed, while it takes my wife an hour or more. (I don’t recommend you broach this subject with her.)

It’s not fair that I own two vans when people desperate for transportation don’t even have a bicycle.

It’s not fair that I have 300+ friends who could and would gladly send me money in an emergency while many people pray desperately for just one.

It’s not fair that I’ve never been a day without food or clean water when some people today are starving to death.

It’s not fair that for 50 years of my life, the only “unfair” I noticed was when I was on the small end.


I neither embrace nor encourage guilt for God’s deep grace on my life, but I grieve how long it took me to see the other side of fair. Into which side of the binoculars are you looking?


[Feature photo by kisistvan77 at Pixabay.com]










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