January 6, 2010

Dear Jack, Month 31

Dear Jack,

You can stomp away, shout "IT'S NOT FAIR!" and slam your door in a way that puts any teenager to shame. It's one of your favorite things (among others) to yell at us when you're upset or frustrated. I'm not sure that you know what it means and I have absolutely no idea where you picked it up.

If Ben's crying and you want him to stop, you stomp away grumbling, "That's not fair." If I put you in time out, you shout, "IT'S NOT FAIR THAT I BE IN TIME OUT!" If I ask you to pick up your toys, or I say that no, you cannot watch a television show . . . it's often greeted with "THAT'S NOT FAIR, MOMMY!"

I will admit that during times like these, you make me worry about what your teenage years will be like.

You're right, though. Life's not fair. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people. It's just the way life is. And it doesn't get any better when you become an adult.

To top it off, you're an oldest child, so you'll likely be the victim of unfairness many times more than your brother. I give you permission right now to complain about it all you want. You can get it off of your chest and let us know exactly what you think.

But don't forget that sometimes the unfairness works to your advantage. Unfortunately, we don't always get exactly what we've earned and deserve in life. And fortunately, we don't always get exactly what we've earned and deserve in life. Does that make sense?

When you're disobedient, and I forgive you, you're getting what you don't deserve. When I yell at you out of frustration and fatigue and you later give me hugs and tell me that I'm forgiven, I'm getting what I don't deserve. Technically, none of this is fair.

And ultimately, Jack, consider who we really are. We're sinners. Compared to God, we're filthy. We're wretched. Because of our sin against Him and our unfaithfulness to Him, we deserve is death.

But we haven't been cast aside and left to die. Love and justice met at the cross in a way that the world had never seen before. God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to die in our place. By the grace of God we were the recipients of the ultimate act of unfairness. I can't completely wrap my head around the enormity of what happened on the cross, but I do know that it wasn't fair. It was love.

I pray every day that as you grow, you'll gain an increased awareness of this love so that when you see things in life that are unfair, you'll remember to thank God that we don't always get what we deserve.


1 comment:

ann said...

Love it. I am not looking forward to facing the parenting decisions that will result in me having to explain original sin to my baby. It hurts. But, God helps. Thanks for that reminder.