Neither left nor right

Handed. Not high handed either. I am just handed. When I started school, it was imperative that I am categorized as either left or right handed. I am not too sure why it was important because it did not fundamentally change anything about the quality of my life. I was told I am right handed and so I wrote with my right hand.

Later, towards my Primary Leaving Exams, I fractured my right hand weeks before mocks. Being left handed became a very viable option. So I tried my left hand at writing, I was slower but I was writing. Speed, though, is everything in exams. One must beat the clock. Thanks be to God, my right hand healed and I completed both the mocks and final exams.

Recently, however, I managed to solely unaided and unabetted, slice my left thumb and thumb nail. fête accompli. If I could turn back the hands of time….non chance. There I stood, a Ugandan, female adult of sound mind…all I could say like Gretel in Sound of Music, ‘I can’t. I hurt my finger’.

Tell you what, there was neither Maria nor was it very rain drops and roses. Both hands froze, like


Then it got very noisy, many voices shouting in my ear, ‘how deep are the cuts?’ ‘Why is there no blood?’ Oops, spoke too soon, blood gushed out! My whole body went into ER mode, I could hear sirens all the way to my brain. Another voice,must have been the platelets, shouted ‘clear the way, this is an emergency?’ I could not move fast enough to stop the bleeding!

It is just the left thumb nail. It is inconsequential. Imagine if it was a blow to the head or a slit of my jagular. Kyoka body nawe, kakana. Seriously, there are no awards to be won, this whole setup is being overly dramatic.

We were just beginning. iodine. Cotton wool. Plaster. Voilà. No more bleeding. All is well, all is well. Quiet. I could hear the birds chirping again.

Hear, hear that wasn’t so bad. Nothing a cup of tea couldn’t fix.

My nerves kicked in, I wonder where they were all this time. Searing pain, from the tip of my left toe, from my left shoulder blade, from the tip of my elbow. My entire left side,broke out into the CutKelvins version of Pink’s ‘What about us?‘ This is worse than labour.

It is just a left thumb nail! For crying out loud. Stop it. My left hand lost sense of feeling. I blacked out.

I could not do anything properly. I needed assistance. I had four perfectly functioning fingers, but they all seemed to miss their thumb. I also missed my thumb. I missed my pincer grasp.

In that moment, I realised that being right or left handed is a farce. I am all handed. I need both hands to function well.

And so it seems does society. We are handed. Neither left nor right.

Joshua going into the battle for Jericho encounters a man, whom he asks “are you for us or our adversaries?”

Guess who it was? The Commander of the army of the Lord himself. Into battle, this must be big. Big, I tell you. And what does he say? I have now come. It is wrapped. This city is ours!

But wait, He did not say whose side He was on. Joshua immediately recognizes what a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer. He is flat on His face, worshipping God and listening to his next command. Right or left, Us or them, it did not matter. He was here, Emmanuel.

Jesus is that very Commander in whom all is reconciled to God. He is Our peace in the midst of war. The One who teaches us to praise in the heat of war.

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Colossians 1:19‭-‬20 NKJV

Our expressions of worship and the imago Dei are as varied as the variation of species. Yet, we still remain connected in an eco system. All the systems working for the good of the whole. We are interdependent.

We need to emulate our bodies if we are going to have better societies. Everyone working for the good of the whole. Yes, thumb’s view is different from the oesophagus’ view but both are working for the whole. It is not about the thumb, neither is it about the oesophagus. It is about the whole. And just like the body, when one part hurts- we all hurt. When all parts are well, all is well.

May the peace of God remain with us, building bridges and tearing down Jerichos in our nations.

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