Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Left Hand of God

Whoever falls from God’s right hand
Is caught in his left.

- Edwin Markham

Years ago I was in a store, Family Dollar, or Tuesday Morning, some such place. They had this wood-framed, crappy print, the kind with an inspirational saying on it. Beneath the quote was square, die cut into the mat board. In the square was a cheap cross. Under any other circumstances I would have passed on it, though God knows, I have some awful art in my heart. But the quote spoke me. I bought it, and I've never forgotten the wise words written on it.

It said, "Whoever falls from God's right hand, is caught in his left." What a grace it was to me in that dry season of free-floating shame I'd lived with so long I didn't even remember exactly what I was ashamed of.

The frame is broken now. I've repaired it so many times it won't even hold together anymore. You can see the dried mounds of hot glue on the pieces. The glass is chipped. It will probably never grace my wall again--which some people in my house may be grateful for--but I can't bring myself to throw it away. Maybe in pieces, it's even more apropos. Reminds me of my frailty. My own brokeness and seemingly useless pieces.

We may not like ourselves when we takes those dives out of God's favored hand, but He loves us enough to make sure we don't crash to the ground, head first, and kill ourselves, quite unwittingly. And that left hand, that wonderful catching hand of God, just may be the hand that propels us back into the world to soar on our own delicate, beautiful wings again.

Markham also wrote:

Only the soul that knows the mighty grief can know the mighty rapture. Sorrows come to stretch out spaces in the heart for joy.

Don'tcha just love it. Sometime the heaviness of our sins, when forgiven, gives way to much peace and joy. We are all like the woman who poured perfume in Jesus' hair, and washed his feet with her tears, whether we admit it or not. We sin much. We are forgiven much. We are thankful for grace, very, very much.

We sin, that is a sad fact of life in a fallen world, but we have an advocate with the Father. Those words might sound forensic and maybe a little social workey, but they mean, essentially, that we have forgiveness. If the whole advocate with the Father thing doesn't float your boat, how about this for simplicity:

Jesus loves you.

Love forgives, even the most vexing of our sins.
Let that heal your soul. Then, listen to this and chill.

Now, more from Markham:

No soul can be forever banned
Eternally bereft
Whoever falls from God’s right hand
Is caught into his left.

At the heart of the cyclone tearing the sky
And flinging the clouds and the towers by
Is a place of central calm

So here in the roar of mortal things
I have a place where my spirit sings
In the hollow of God’s Palm

With many thanks to Jen Lemen for turning me on to zefrank's kooky song.


Jessica said...

Amazing quotes

Cheryl Barker said...

"Whoever falls from God’s right hand Is caught into his left." Love that quote! I had never heard it before. Thanks for sharing!

Elysa said...

I hadn't heard it before either. I used it (and referred to you) over at my blog. A lot of sad stuff is happening around me this past week.

Heather Diane Tipton said...

oh, my friend, that was a fabulous post... and meant for me every bit of it. Thank you.

D. Gudger said...

that's a new one for me, very applicable. Thanks for sharing, Mair!

Amber said...

Been going through some stuff here. This is the third or fourth time today the Lord reminded me that I'm in the palm of His hand. Thank you.

Paula said...

OOooopps! That last comment was from me, Paula. Now I don't only accidentally leave comments under my children's blogger names, but also their friends! Guess Amber was the last one blogging on my computer. LOL

Elysa said...

Hey fellow Ragamuffin Blog readers...just wanted to let you know about something on facebook. There is now a "fans of" page of for our beloved Claudia Mair Burney. Go do a search and join in on loving Miss Mair.

Rhonda Jeanne said...

Girl, where are you? I'm mairless.