Saturday, October 24, 2009

On Breaking Wood and Cultural Templates

I don't like to talk about feelings. I hate the phone. Sometimes I stink. Other times I reek of Irish Spring. I fantasize about maiming bad men breaking into our home. I'm a man. I play fight with my 4 year-old son. I like to shoot crap. I still watch action movies that I know are going to be terrible just because I can. I split a bunch of wood today and felt really strong. I'm a man. I'm such a man that I didn't even notice the microabrasion on my arm that caused a tiny trickle of blood to sparkle in the sunlight catching my son's eye and arousing an interrogation about what happened to me. I played it cool and winced not.

So when my neighbor comes home dirty after doing something involving a natural gas rig and a fantastically large duelly, why am I little embarrassed when he catches me planting daffodil bulbs in the front yard? I'll answer that for you. It's because I'm a man. I shouldn't be planting daffodils until I'm like 65 and living the Medicare goodlife (tm). I should planting large trees, and mines, and deer carcasses. I should be watching ESPN 4 hours a day and a bunch of college football the entire weekend. I shouldn't be sitting on the couch enjoying an episode of Curious George with the kids because it's the only time they'll sit on my lap. I should out fishing in my camo waders.

I'm honestly not too insecure about my manhood, but those feelings of not belonging do sometimes creep up on me, especially considering my current habitation in rural Arkansas. As I type, every husband is out shooting some sort of projectile at large male deer. I'm not. I'm in here enjoying Starbuxx coffee and writing a blog. And I'm doing it with a sweet baby on my lap. And I love it. I can't imagine too many local Arkansans are intimidated by my lifestyle.
I love the fact that Jesus was man who worked with his hands as a carpenter up until about my current age and then went on a rampage loving people in weird, unexpected ways. He welcomed little punk kids onto his lap. He saved the lives of prostitutes. He healed the hearts of dirty politicians and government employees. When his follower was wielding a sword, Jesus was mending a dude's ear. I guarantee Jesus did not question his role as a man. He lived a life of crazy love. He wept. He told good news. He came to seek and save. And though it's not written, I'm certain he knows all the secret ninja moves.

I may not know all the secret ninja moves, I know I'm where I need to be. My occasional insecurity about not caring about the NFL game is evidence of my lack of faith about who I am. I am a man. The Yahweh is my Father. I love. I weep. I (try to) mend people. And when I need to, I can split wood or deliver a forceful sidekick to the face.