"LIFE’S not fair is it? Some of us drink champagne in the fast lane and some of us eat our sandwiches by the loose chippings on the A597." Victoria Wood

Last autumn my husband had a serious illness. It made me think again about fairness – the ‘why me/her/him/them?’ question that often occupies me as a Christian minister and as a professional counsellor. I don’t have any clever answers but I do have things that kept me going during a difficult time.

I might think I’m eating sandwiches by the loose chippings but compared to the majority of the world I’m really drinking champagne. Thinking about what the outcome might have been didn’t make it less important but it did help us get a sense of perspective about it. A helpful thought for us but probably inadequate in the face of other problems…terminal illnesses, domestic violence, sudden tragedies…

So, what else helped? A daily determination to notice the good things that were happening at the same time as the bad ones helped me to stay steady and live with hope. Every day I posted on facebook ‘One good thing’, sometimes through gritted teeth, but it helped. Also, the kindness of friends and family, much laughter, small improvements, the NHS.

And underpinning everything a sense that God was with us in it, not a detached onlooker but one of whom it was said ‘he moved into our neighbourhood’.

In Jesus, I see a picture of a God who is involved in our questions, our hurting, our experiences of unfairness and our happy times too. If you’ve never done it before, take a look at the stories of Jesus’ life, his unfair trial and death and the tough life of love, mercy, straight speaking and forgiveness that those who call themselves Christians are asked to try to copy.

The Rev Jackie Reily

Chaplain, Scargill Movement, Kettlewell