Thursday, 24 December 2015

It's Not Fair. A Christmas Tale.

Even if you have a finely tuned sense of justice, you ain't got nothin' on my two-year-old. 

Emily understands consequences perfectly. In fact, she's accustomed to handing over one her prized possessions (Paw Patrol figurines, duh) when she fills her pants. 
It's. Not. Fair. (In this case? Napping.)

She expects it. (Yay potty training. Positive reinforcement was not working, people. No judgment.) She's wired for what is fair. 

This Advent, I've been enjoying time with family and getting a break from the constant mom duties. It's been so good. Idyllic even. But, somewhere, underneath it all, there's this little voice.

It's not fair. 

The beauty I get to enjoy.

The family that I have here today.

The culture and advantages I chanced into through this birth lottery.

Even my Christmas traditions.

 / / / / /

Maybe you look around and there is a constant ache where there should be another place setting at the table. 
Or December doesn't hold the memories advertised and the jingles ring false and blaring.

Or the pain underlying everything is larger than the joy.

It's not merry. 

It's not bright.

It's not fair. 

/ / / / / 

One of my most vivid Christmas memories is from when I was twelve, sitting in the family van as we drove around and around the city of Edmonton, just me with my younger sister and brother, and my parents. It was Christmas and my brother Nathaniel was in the Edmonton Children's Hospital, just a few months before he died. I remember driving because nothing was open and it was freezing (I'm talking -40, people). It was dark and the streets were quiet and unfamiliar. The windows were frosted up on the inside and all that was playing OVER AND OVER on the radio was I'll Be Home for Christmas.

I hate that song to this day. 

Merry Christmas.

 / / / / /

THIS Christmas, my heart is full of family, food, and laughter.
A few of the girls.

 I hug everyone extra tight and soak it up, because I know, even in all of these special moments...  

It's not fair.

In fact, nothing about Christmas is fair. 

Can you imagine the journey to Bethlehem?  

I don't know how joyful you are at nine months pregnant, but I would not have been a happy traveler... Especially with a new husband who didn't set up somewhere to stay even though he KNEW you were expecting a baby and his whole family is from the area.  Are you kidding me? Is this because it's not your baby? I thought we were over this. I can just picture the calm and serene conversation the entire donkey ride there...

Giving birth in a barn to the Saviour of the World. 

Messy, humble, painful.  Not fair.

Packing up again and running for your lives to a foreign country with a toddler in the middle of the night.  Not fair.

I could keep going, but you get the idea and that was the unfair the son of God faced by the age of two.

I've already talked about how Love came down small at Christmas, but, in this world that all the working hard and all the effort just can't fix,

Tonight, I am glad that Grace isn't fair.
Sunset, Christmas Eve, 2015

In the misery, the pain, the loss and the suffering, we search for something. A sense of 'fair'.

C.S. Lewis said, “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?

I want things to make sense. To measure up. To be fair. But if I apply that standard to myself, despite all of my own actions and efforts, I can never measure up. 

And that's okay.

Because Grace came down at Christmas.

Grace. It's not fair.

Grace says, you are not enough, but I will be enough for you.

Grace says, you cannot measure up, but I will give you a new life.

Grace says, it hurts and it isn't all right, but I will give you peace that doesn't make sense even in your circumstances. 

 I don't have any self-help answers or sermons for you, but what draws me most to this Jesus is His overwhelming, all-encompassing, generous grace. 

So this Christmas, I'll sip my eggnog in my cozy home, with my precious family and I'll enjoy every moment of it. Aware of the not fair. 

But if you are alone today, if you are grieving today, if you are sitting in the dark tonight, my heart is with you, in the not fair.

Because, what draws me to Christmas isn't the festive spirit, the decorations, or the family time. 

No platitudes. No condolences. No charming words.
What draws me to Christmas and to Christ is the only thing I can offer to you. 

This inclusive, shining light of a star in the darkness, scattering hope where none should be found, beckoning everyone in, in spite of ourselves.

It's lavish. It's for me. It's for you. And it's not fair.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Beautifully written and totally true. His Grace is enough.

  2. Thank you for sharing this! So beautiful and just what I needed today!


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