If you ever felt like a fish out of water, or perhaps oil on water, different, sticking out from the crowd, and always seen as an "other", I have good news for you.
The good news is that your "otherness" could serve a purpose. Or better still, you are different for a reason.
If you have been wallowing in self-pity and burdened by social anxiety, it is time to accept yourself. It is time to find purpose for your uniqueness.
Different for a purpose
There is a story in the book of Judges that might be of interest. By this time, Israel had been under Moabite domination for 18 years. Just like it was in Egypt, the people needed a deliverer. For the assignment in Egypt, God had picked Moses, a man trained in the ways of Egypt but with the additional perspective of 40 years of wilderness experience.
This time, God raised Ehud for the task at hand.
But when the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, the Lord again raised up a rescuer to save them. His name was Ehud son of Gera, a left-handed man of the tribe of Benjamin... (Judges 3:15, NLT).
The reference to where Ehud came from is relevant. He was a left-handed man from the tribe of Benjamin. Ehud derived his ancestry from the last son of Jacob, who was named Benjamin for a reason.
The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”)...Genesis 35:18b, NLT).
The Bible called out three instances of left-handedness, all attributed to the tribe of Benjamin. This could be because Benjamin had a thing with the right hand from birth. This could also be because being left-handed in Benjamin was the exception rather than the norm. Some theologians understand it backwards, but it doesn't matter.
God needed a man for a job, and He went for a left-handed warrior out of all the others who could have willingly taken on the task. God was particular about this one. A right-handed man would not do. The man for this assignment must be different from the rest.
Permission to be a misfit
You can imagine what it would be like to be left-handed in a crowd of right-handed people. Ehud would have carried his left-handedness like a heavy burden all his life. But a day came when what would have been a liability became an asset. His left-hand became the tool of deliverance for the people.
What does this mean for you?
You are permitted to be different. You are permitted to be exactly you and nothing but you. You don't have any excuse for being you. You may choose to upgrade, enhance, or enrich your core self to suit an image you admire or aspire to, if you think those changes will help you fulfil purpose.
But Ehud was different and remained different. He was just right. He didn't need to change anything. He just needed the right time and space to unleash the potential of his unique abilities.
When that time came, he became a highly functional misfit. He was still different but functioning differently. He functioned in a way that was unique to him. Nobody else could do it the way he did it.
That is the beauty of being different. You leave a mark that has your own unique stamp. Your authenticity produces truly authentic outcomes.
The left-handed Ehud demonstrates the power of diversity. Something goes wrong anytime someone insists on suppressing differences or silencing the other voices in the room. At every level in society, we need people to bring their uniqueness to the table.
At the family level, parents must be careful to leverage the power of uniqueness. We are all wired differently. Every child is different, and those differences could be their hidden strength, or the untapped superpower that would save the family, or perhaps the nation at some point.
Parents are prone to the temptation of trying to mould the children in their own image. At other times, they try to mould one child in the image of another child. This could be problematic, especially if you are dealing with an Ehud - a left-handed genius that you haven't yet recognised.
Bookshelves are full of stories of uniquely gifted people who were written off as misfits especially when they were younger.
It is okay to be left-handed when everyone else appear to be right-handed. God made you who you are, don't change it for anything or anybody.
Be at peace with who you are, and in time, your uniqueness will find expression and become a blessing.
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