The Hand That Wouldn’t Move

by Heather Ross

1 Cor. 12:12, “For as the body is one, and hath many members,

and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body:

so also is Christ.”

To Read:  I Cor. 12:12-26

Joel got up, but Henry Hand refused to.

“I’m staying in bed today,” Henry said.

“But you can’t,” Joel tried to reason.  “I need you.  C’mon, Henry, you’ve just had an eight-hour sleep.  Everybody else is working today.”

“Yeah, really, Henry!  I never get a break,” said Ilin Eye, the seeing guy.  “All day long, I help Joel read his work, form his penmanship, and find his way around.  I have done my job every day without complaint.  You can’t just start complaining now!”

Joel turned to move, but still Henry wouldn’t budge.  “Yeah, Henry,” Joel’s big toe warned,  “I might smell half the time and even get stubbed more often than every other toe, but Joel needs me to kick the soccer ball straight at recess and to steady himself in P.E. class.”

Joel’s mom was calling for him to make his bed, but still Henry had no pity and refused to help.

Again, Joel tried to make Henry understand. “Henry!  Come on!  I’ll wash you every hour; I’ll even rub some of that lotion on you that my sisters carry—yuck!—anything just to make you help me today.”

“Have compassion on the kid, Henry, would ya?”  Kevin Knee complained.  “You have no idea what it’s like to hold this bottom leg together with the upper one.  I get bruised and scraped, cut, and skinned—but I still work for Joel.  Wouldn’t you hate to be without me, buddy?”

Joel didn’t want to lose his knee, but he also didn’t want to waste anymore time trying to reason with Henry to do his regular job.  So, Joel left Henry in bed.

It was very hard getting dressed that morning; but somehow, Joel managed.  After twenty minutes, he finally walked out of the room.  Looking back, he noticed his bed was yet unmade.  Oh, well, he thought.  I’ll be late for school if I try to make it now.  School…oh boy, what would that be like?

At breakfast, Mom scolded him for being messy with his cereal.  “Stop dripping milk all over your chin, Joel,” she said.  Can’t she see I’m going left-handed this morning?  Joel wondered.  But Mom didn’t notice.  She was busy helping his sister Emma, who was staying home sick today.

At school, Joel had to practice being a leftie, and Miss Higgins complained because his penmanship was so sloppy.

During his piano lesson, Miss Cavins did not like it that Joel could only play the left hand on all of his songs.  “You need to practice harder, Joel,” she said.

Can’t she tell my hand is missing?  Joel thought.

At P.E., Mr. Rudolph wondered why Joel couldn’t pitch the ball very well.  “Are you trying to become a leftie?  Because it doesn’t work that way in the pros, you know.  Now maybe left-handed batter, but you can’t try to make your weak arm just like the strong one in pitching.  No, the pitcher’s the guy who holds the team together.”  Joel listened patiently but couldn’t wait to get home and give Henry a piece of his mind.  Finally, his long day at school was completed.

“Henry!” Joel started when he got back to his bedroom, “you’ve totally ruined my day!”  I can’t believe you did this to me.  “First, you argue with me.  Then you don’t get out of bed, and then you totally refuse to do any work whatsoever.  What is the matter?  Aren’t I important to you at all?”

But Henry Hand still refused to listen.  What did Joel know, after all? Henry thought.  He doesn’t know what it’s like to be a hand.  It’s just not fair.

That night during farm chores as Joel gathered eggs, he broke three.  His mom would not be happy!  She had egg customers counting on those eggs.  “What is your problem today?”  Joel’s mother wanted to know when he came in from chores and reported the egg-breaking.

“It’s not my fault!” Joel started to say and then he realized his mom may not understand.

“Henry, you’ve gotta help,” Joel pleaded again.  But Henry was enjoying his vacation.  Strange thing, though, Henry was starting to look blue.  “Henry,” Joel asked when they were alone together, “are you starting to feel blue, because you sure look it today!”

“Do I? Henry wanted to know.  “Well I guess that’s just too bad.”

Poor Joel!  He had to go to church that night and couldn’t even play with the kids afterwards.  He was “It” in the game of tag and couldn’t even reach out to tag anyone.  People laughed at him when he said his hand wasn’t working today and shaking Pastor’s hand at the back of the church was impossible.  Pastor looked directly at Joel’s mother and asked, “Is your son right with God?”  Joel was mortified.  Completely humiliated.

Finally, that night, Henry Hand decided to get back to work.  It took a full week for Joel to get the hang of Henry again.

I Corinthians 12:12, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”