A few years ago, someone left a dog at Saint John’s. It is a mystery how it got into the fully fenced playfield. The dog had no tag or chip. An incredibly friendly dog, his paws were sore and worn maybe from walking a long way on pavement or, more likely, from being chained on a concrete pad of some kind. Our business manager, Sally, took him home which eventually became his forever home. She named him George. He was a kind and loving animal. One weird thing is that he considered himself human. George sat on the couch like a human – on his rump with his legs spread out in front and his left paw on the armrest.
Another mystery is our church cat, Sassy. She’s been at Saint John’s more than 15 years. Sassy showed up one day and stayed. She’s in poor health and is not very kind or warm; she no longer hunts mice but instead sits around in the sun on the floor of the maintenance office, swears, spits, tells us what to do and says mean things about our mothers.
I am sorry to report this past weekend George was sick. His vet diagnosed him with a terminal liver condition. He was put down. Sassy, on the other hand, is still alive.
It’s not fair; not fair at all.
God is just, truthful and faithful. God is great, glorious and incredibly forgiving. Fair, however, is perhaps not a suitable word to describe God. My thought is that God is just but not necessarily fair.
When I say it is not fair that Sassy is alive and George is not, I base it on what I believe is morally right in human terms. George was a pleasant dog who was a good friend. Sassy is not. But God’s morality is different from mine. God knows what is right and what is wrong and quite often he does not consult me for my opinion on the way to run things.
Someone close to me has had cancer pop up, again. I don’t think that is fair at all. And, frankly, I’m a little mad at God for letting this happen. Yet, I know that God heals and saves through the working of the Holy Spirit. I have faith that this will all turn out well and good. Yet, I’m still a little mad at what I perceive as the unfairness of the situation.
Near the end of his life, Moses recited a poem to the Israelites as they were poised and ready to cross the river Jordan into the Promised Land. Moses said, “The Rock, his work is perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God, without deceit, just and upright is he; yet his degenerate children have dealt falsely with him, a perverse and crooked generation.” (Deuteronomy 32:4-5). The Rock, which is better translated as The Mountain, is defined as just. The Hebrew word translated as just, tsad-deek, is used to describe a judge or king who maintains the right and dispenses justice. In the Old Testament, this word is used for both punishing and rewarding.
Every Good Friday, there’s a tugging at my heart that says this is not fair. It’s not fair at all that Jesus was crucified. But luckily, determining fairness is not up to me.