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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

23 May 2018: Rev'd Stephen Wright, Petersfield Methodist Church

In praise of left arms

Courage Beers once advertised their product by saying ‘It’s what your right arm’s for’. There are of course, other uses. As a right hander, I use my right arm for all sorts of things; it’s a formidable piece of kit. So much so, that it’s easy to dismiss the contribution my left arm makes.

And yet it is not without its uses. I once had an accident which left my left arm a nice shade of blue, black and yellow. The swelling quickly went away, but not the pain of damaged nerves and muscles. I quickly discovered that even simple tasks were fraught with difficulty. Opening a can, turning a tap, driving the car, even dressing one-self became problematic. My left arm was much more important than I realised; without it, not a lot got done.

The lesson, is not difficult to apply. For left arms, read a whole variety of people, organisations and institutions. The Church and Christian faith; certainly. Today, it is often taken for granted, and just as frequently ignored as irrelevant. And yet, look a little closer, and there is more than you might think. In many respects, it is this faith which has made our country what it is. Even now, (despite all manner of bad press), it continues to provide a huge amount of social care and practical compassion. To many of its adherents, we owe the development of science, the riches of our art and the deepening of the humanitarian spirit. In reality, it’s a pretty formidable left arm.

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