A little sympathy, please. Life is, as promised, not always a walk in the park. But, if you are differently gifted, aka left-handed, the difficulties are multiplied. The right-handed majority lives blithely oblivious of the repeated indignities endured by their neighbors.  Drinking vessels are always placed on the ‘other’ side. Scissors refuse to function from the left hand (sure, there are left-handed scissors, but none were available to me in grade school). Student desks come with convenient arm rests for writing down notes in class – that is, for the majority. Left-handed students’ arms are left suspended in mid-air because of the lack of provided support. Coil-back notebooks are the bane of our existence (your hand and your forearm are always getting pressed into the metal rings. Fountain pens (those instruments of torture, filled with watery, smearable ink, hand-staining ink), force an unnatural tilt to the page in a vain effort to avoid perpetual, messy contact with wet ink. This aberrant positioning of notebooks leads, often, to decidedly left-leaning handwriting (subject to a variety of less than kind remarks). Soft-leaded pencils, too, are documented smudge producers. Ah, yes, life is hard (waaah). A riff on Kermit’s theme song: ‘It’s not easy being left-handed.’ I was given a t-shirt that champions southpaws. It reads: Everyone is born right-handed and only the gifted overcome it.

The takeaway from all this silliness is, I trust, clear. We are all born in sin and fit synchronously with the world system and its culture. That is, until Jesus comes and removes the stain of sin, rehabbing us to our original, fit for the Kingdom, design. At this point we find ourselves increasingly at odds with the world system and its culture, and the broad acceptance enjoyed up till now pivots to less than kind remarks. Shunning and shaming soon follow. Further, we now live as foreigners in our own land, motivated by foreign values and ideals and driven, shockingly, to express love and forgiveness from the ever-flowing source of the Holy Spirit. Angry speech and behavior fade away, over-shadowed as they are by the powerful assurances of our belonging, our adoption, our belovedness. Ego competition and one-upmanship get an upgrade to a cooperative spirit and one-downmanship. The persecution Jesus foretold began with his first-century followers who were disdained as ‘Christians,’ a pejorative mockery meaning, ‘little Christs.’ Today, we are considered narrow-minded bigots and/or domestic terrorists! And I thought my tribulation with scissors was tough!  PD

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