I’m left-handed. I was one

I’m left-handed. I was one of those rare children of the 70s who wasn’t forced to write with my right hand. In kindergarten, my kind teacher Mrs. Beall, a sort of flower-child herself, kept left-handed scissors in the art bin. I felt privileged every time she dug them out for me, since I was the only left-hander in class. I’ve noticed that left-handedness is not very popular in Europe. I’ve never seen a fellow lefthander in Prague, and a few Czechs have noticed my oddity.

In softball, I first learned how to bat on my right side–my dad a baseball coach was always trying to get me to switch to my left side, because he was convinced that I would have more strength. I think he was right, because I ended up hitting a few line-drives with my left side. I became a real switch-hitter.

As much as I liked being different, I’ve started to notice that the left hand of God is not nearly as mentioned as His right. His right arm is his strong arm, his right hand is his protective hand, his right side is where you want to be. Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. So what does this mean for left-handers? Well, to say that God’s left side is His sinister side (“sinister” being the Latin word for left) would be suggesting that God can be sinister. To say that His left side is gauche (“gauche” is the French word for left) would be suggesting that God is clumsy. And in spite of all the medieval superstitions of lefthandedness being a sign of demonization or bastardness, I think that God’s left side has gotten a bad rap.

He likes it when I start chasing down answers to things like this, so let’s just say I feel like I’m at the beginning of the puzzle… There is no part of God that is lesser than another. His two sides are not opposites–they are two sides with different manifestations of his character. “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me!” says the beloved in Song of Songs, and this represents the two hands’ essential differences. The Father’s right hand is a powerful symbol throughout all of scripture. We are covered, protected, even judged by his right side. It is also his blessing arm, which extends out to touch our heads, to say, “You are mine; you belong to me.” It represents his utter masculinity. But as his right hand embraces–which symbolizes initiative–His left hand is under us. The left hand is the intuitive feminine part of God–it is the part that actually nurtures us, holds us still.

Recent Posts

Midrash on the Psalms

Reading the Psalms again today (little midrashing for you today!), as I often do, as they seem like the center (and therefore centering parts of

Read More »