I have come to the conclusion that I will never fully understand the effects of testosterone on the male mind. This conclusion is based upon over four decades of intense, clinically based research and observation. Except for a brief respite during my college years, I have always lived with at least one male of the species.
Still, I shake my head in confusion as to why, why, oh why must every little boy and every big boy I know consistently lift his arms over his head and jump, every time he passes under a doorway? The smaller the boy, the more powerful the jump. Take my son, for instance. Last week at church, as we trekked down the long covered sidewalk from his Sunday School class to “Big Church,” he jumped at least a dozen times, every time we passed under one of the braces which held the roof up. (I know there’s probably a more technical name for those things, but stay with me.)
Though the braces were clearly out of his reach, still, he jumped every single time, trying with all his might to touch them. Then he’d turn to me and say, “I nearly touched that one,” as if that one feat would push him through the portal into manhood. I’d nod and try to look duly impressed, every single time, because that’s what we mothers have been trained to do.
It’s not just the little boys. I teach middle-schoolers, and many of them are taller than I am. And just about every one of the boys reaches up to touch the top of my doorframe as he enters my classroom. Then he looks around to see who noticed. Being the encouraging teacher that I am, I nod and try to look impressed.
Even the grown-up men in my life partake in this strange ritual of manhood, though they usually do it only when they think no one is watching, as if they should no longer have anything to prove, yet they want to prove it to themselves, whatever “it” is.
Although I’ve personally never felt the need to prove my female-ness by touching the top of a doorframe, I can appreciate the desire to aim for a high goal. After all, shouldn’t we all reach high? Shouldn’t we all strive for things that are out of our reach, in hopes that we will one day attain a higher level? Isn’t that exactly what we’re doing when we reach out to God?
While I’ve never seen a door frame stoop down to make itself more attainable for a boy to touch, I have seen something even greater. Even more incredible. Even more amazing.
I have personally experienced the God of heaven and earth bending down to embrace me, simply because I reached for Him.
Imagine that. The Creator of the universe, the One Who commands the oceans and the winds, the One who set the stars in their places and the planets into orbit, notices me. He sees me reaching for Him, and knowing I’ll never, ever be able to reach that high, He smiles and offers a nod of approval. Then He bends down and lifts me onto His great shoulders, taking me to a height I could never reach on my own.
From now on, when my son jumps for the top of a doorframe, I’m going to applaud him. And perhaps, when no one is looking, I might even try to touch it myself.
“Lift your hands toward the holy place, and praise the Lord,” Psalm 134:2.