I am not a superstitious person. I walk under ladders, on purpose. I welcome black cats who cross my path. I clean up broken mirrors without counting forward seven years. And I don’t think anything I do, or wear, or eat in my living room will change the outcome of a ballgame. I don’t think I have that kind of power. I don’t think anybody does. (Although it’s cute to see my husband do it, and I’m sure he thinks it’s hysterical when I tease him about it.)
But I am just not superstitious.
When I was a little girl, I made a plaster of Paris wall plaque with a Bible verse on it and hung it on my closet doorknob. I can’t believe I don’t remember which verse it was, because I read it every night before I went to bed. I had to. Every night. At least once.
But no, I am not superstitious. I only had to do that because if I didn’t, something terrible might happen. Something of Holocaustic proportions. (There were a lot of T.V. shows about the Holocaust when I was little.)
But I am not superstitious. That would be silly…
Fast forward 40 something years.
I want to start going to a yoga class in town. I’ve got a lot of muscle kinks that are getting worse every year. I hold tension in my legs and neck. I don’t try to, I just do. Smiles on the outside, muscles in a death grip on the inside. I heard yoga could help.
But the yoga class is at 4:00 pm and that’s the time I sit on the top step of my front porch waiting for my boys to drive home from school. I have to sit on the front porch every day at 4:00. I have to.
Anxiety is a great alarm system. It’s like a big red arrow pointing to something. Sometimes it points to real things, and sometimes it points to things that are not real, except in your own head. This morning I saw that big red arrow flashing right at my front porch.
Is my presence on the porch so powerful that evil and misfortune will pass by my family as long as I’m faithfully sitting there on the top step? Am I the Passover mom?
“Hey, boys, do you think you guys will make it home safely on Thursday if I’m not on the front porch at 4:00, or will that cause something terrible to happen to the world?”
I love telling on myself. I’m such a tattle tale.
“Well, Mom, I may forget where the house is and have to drive around forever….”
“Oh, dear, that’s a shame, because I’m going to be at yoga until 5:15.”
And as for that little girl in her bunkbed, staring at her closet door, reciting those chalky words every night before she goes to sleep, I can just say that God deeply loves little girls who fear the unknown just as much as he loves grown women who still have to stretch their faith daily. And sometimes literally, at 4:00 pm on Thursdays.