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Country Pastor column: That's not fair!

The word "fair" has come up a lot in conversation this month. The church where I serve, has a food stand at the Pierce County Fair, so for several months of the year we discuss the fair: signing up volunteers, seeking food donations, placing food orders, making gravy and soup. As a native Minnesotan, this week my family will make the near annual trek to the Minnesota State Fair, where I'm sure we'll be offered many State Fair specials for things like patio furniture, gutters, and water softeners. Seeing how expensive admission has gotten for my family of six, not to mention the cost of a bag of mini-doughnuts, Pronto Pups and Midway rides, I'm not sure why we describe non-fair transactions the rest of the year as being "a fair deal" or "a fair offer," unless we mean the deal or offer costs an arm and a leg!

My kids use the word "fair" often too. But usually it's to indicate that we didn't treat them in a just manner. For example, if we take one for a special visit to play with their cousin, they might cry, "That's not fair!," when they learn their siblings played a game and had a treat while they were gone.

Many protests around our nation this year have been essentially protesting situations the marchers see as being unfair. Agree with them or not, most everyone can relate to feeling that life can be unfair at times, such as when: a city floods from a hurricane; a loved one is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer; a car breaks down just as you finally saved up a couple hundred dollars, finally. Yes, sometimes life is anything but fair.

But I am more than fairly certain, that our God loves us through the good and the bad. I don't think it was fair that Jesus died for sinners like you and me, and yet that's just what he did because of God's amazing, unconditional love for us. And it's that unconditional, undeserved, over-the-top love, that gets me personally through all the unfair moments in life. I pray that you may know deeply God's love for you too.

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