Posts Tagged ‘left-handed’

Are you different? God can still use you

August 8, 2009 1 comment

I’m different from most people. I don’t concern myself too much with the latest styles. Most of today’s popular sitcoms, such as Seinfeld, bore me to tears. I find humor mostly through older shows and in movies that are so terribly made that they become hilarious. Whenever I write fiction, I often find myself trying to write unpredictable endings.

But what makes me more noticeably different from most people (besides my bulbous nose, Coke bottle glasses and short stature) is that I’m left-handed. Eating at a restaurant often means eating at the end of a table on the left side to avoid bumping elbows with a right-hander. I also write, throw, bat, golf, shoot and do virtually everything southpaw. I can use scissors right-handed, but only because lefty scissors aren’t common.

Growing up in the latter part of the 20th century meant not having to suffer as left-handers in the past have. Some, such as left-handed baseball great Babe Ruth, were forced at an early age to write with their right hand. I also read a sickening tale of an early 20th century minor leaguer named John King in the book Peanuts and Crackerjack: A Treasury of Baseball Legends and Lore by David Cataneo. In the book, it describes King as a ballplayer who hated left-handed people and thought of them as deceptive albatrosses. King’s only son began showing signs of left-handedness at an early age as he consistently reached for objects with his left hand. King solved this “problem” by restraining his son’s left arm in a tobacco pouch until the boy showed telltale signs of conversion to right-handedness.

Left-handed people in history have always stood out as different, and not always in good ways. They’ve been considered different, deceptive, unlucky and evil.

The Bible does specifically mention one left-handed person in the book of Judges. The third chapter tells the story of Ehud, a Benjamite.

In this book Israel, went through the endless cycle: doing evil and forsaking the Lord, being persecuted and oppressed by ungodly nations, crying to the Lord for help, receiving the help in the form of a deliverer who would rescue the Israelites and then often serve as judge. Finally, the Israelites would grow complacent and return back to the first stage of this cycle. During Ehud’s time, the oppressor was King Eglon of Moab.

God called upon Ehud to be Israel’s next judge, and it must’ve been unusual to some to see God use a man who did everything backwards—use a slingshot, wield a sword, throw, etc. But God had a special plan for the southpaw, one that involved ending the Moabite rule over the Israelites.

Ehud went to visit King Eglon under the pretense of giving a gift of tribute. Before he went, Judges 3:16 tells us that Ehud took a two-edged dagger measuring a cubit and fastened it to his waist under his garment. His private intentions were to kill the king.

King Eglon, knowing that assassination was always a lingering possibility, had his bodyguards search anyone coming to meet with him. Whenever someone did come, the guards checked under the person’s garment on their left side to see if they had any weapons hidden there. The world generally is more than 90 percent right-handed, so most people would reach to their left side and use their right hand to draw their weapon.

Except Ehud. When they checked his left side, they found nothing because Ehud had fastened his weapon to his RIGHT side.

After this, Ehud asked for a private audience with King Eglon, and once everyone left, Ehud drew his sword and stabbed the king, killing him. Ehud discreetly escaped from King Eglon’s place and later led the Israelite charge to defeat the Moabites and reestablish independent rule.

Not bad for a left-handed man. I must say that as a southpaw whose left-handed family members include an older sister, an uncle, a cousin and (by marriage) an aunt, I’m very proud of Ehud. This Benjamite proves that no matter how different you are, whether you’re left-handed, possess an exotic personality or have some type of disability that limits what you can do, God can still use you. We’re all formed in God’s image, and if He made you different, there is a reason. God doesn’t make mistakes, and He has a special plan for those who are different.