Its not something I think about much. I've just always been tall. As one of the biggest kids in elementary school, I usually got picked first for kick ball. I usually was "rewarded" the coveted and prominent back middle position in all my elementary school photos. Even today,when I'm in big groups, my friends don't really have to designate a geographical meeting point. I am the ever moving banner around who we can congregate. I can then look over and down on the masses to find our lost sheep. Did I already say I have a big head? lol. Looking down has always been ingrained in me. Of course there were adults and there was also my late growth spurt. But generally speaking, from the age of 15 my gaze has continued to be drawn downward. There may be some weird psychological things associated with this, that are seriously distorting my self perception.
A few years ago I was with one of my good friends Russ Davis. I can't remember where, I just remember we were standing in front of a mirror. I could not believe how big a difference there was in our heights! He's not 7'2" bye the way. Anyways....it was a weird moment. I had known Russ for years, and I had always felt we were basically the same physically. I mean I knew I was taller...of course. But it didn't mean anything to me until I saw us standing there next to each other.
For me, there isn't really much of a different between 5'8" and 6' 2". They both fall into the category of "shorter than me".
You may be asking yourself why I'm telling you this. Well, let me tell you. The last 39 days I've had numerous conversations seated in my wheelchair. Thus, I've spent more time looking up at people than I ever have before. I can't explain why, but there is a profound difference. It goes beyond an altered physical perspective. There is something about the physiological posture that is affecting me spiritually. In a word, its humbling. Not self debasement. Its humbling in a wonderfully appreciative way. Its humbling in a confidently deferential kind of way. Its humbling in a contented way. Its nice looking up to others.
I saw this guy one time get up in front of the church to pray. Everyone knows the normal way to pray. You must bow your head, demonstrating the proper level of contrition. Who doesn't know this? Anyways, that's not what this guy did. When he started praying he looked straight up! (I know I was supposed to have my eyes closed). Anyways, I've been wondering about that moment over the last few weeks. Didn't that guy know God is everywhere? After all, God is just as much below as he is above. What does he see when he looks up? Did he expect to see God more clearly with his eyes on the church ceiling? Then I got to thinking. Is the bowing of our heads for God's benefit or ours? Does the creator of heaven and earth care which way we are looking? And I came to the conclusion.....I don't think so. I started wondering if there was power in the posture. Is there a substance of deeds that enfleshes faith? Although I do believe there is power in the perspective.....which posture often reflects, can posture affect perspective?
For me, the posture of "looking up" seems to . With head and eyes up, I more readily realize my need of others and recognize their concern for me. I'm able to appreciate my position, not in isolation, but in terms of my relationship with them and with God. Looking up signifies not so much where I am, but to whom I am going. There is something very spiritual in this simple physicality.
Tomorrow my wheeling days are over....., blessed strolling begins again. I just hope despite tomorrow, my eyes will lift... and focus ascend.