I said to my husband the other day, as a lead-in to my reminder about where I store financial records, "If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, all the receipt for the **** are in the ****."
I allude to this type of thinking in other ways, too: "Lord willin' and the creek don't rise..." is one of my stock introductory phrases. When we're going away for a few hours, the hus and I, and especially when all three of us are going somewhere near or far, I call the home phone to leave a message detailing the location of our will.
He gets annoyed with me for doing this, the husband. "You know, that's kind of awful," he says after I place the call to our answering machine. He gives me dirty looks when I mention the bus. He occasionally goes down the path of how I shouldn't say those things because I might speak them unto myself, with the power of some strange inexplicable self-fulfilling prophecy that some Christians embrace–which is why so many of them are phonies who preach how we can expect only blessings and money from God because we'll just refuse to accept whatever else might come our way.
Well, I do believe that we can affect our mood, our attitude, and our witness to others by the things we say out loud. But I also know that terrible things happen sometimes and there's not a word that could have been spoken or withheld to prevent them. People die in horrible ways sometimes, even young moms and dads, even children. We live in a fallen world and tragedies do occur here. If I refrain from leaving a voice mail message that reveals the location of our will, that doesn't mean that we're any safer as we travel. It might mean that if something bad happens, no one will know where to look and read our wishes... and then there's likely to be some ugly, nasty squabbling. And delays. And additional taxes.
I don't know why I speak of these things in such off-handed fashion, almost in jest. I guess it's my pathetic way of acknowledging the very real risks of our existence. Maybe it's my tongue-in-cheek method of trying to appear unfazed by these potential realities. There's a slim chance that deep down, a tiny part of me holds tight to the completely untrue belief that by addressing the dangers out loud, I am warding them away.
I hope and pray that none of my just-in-case pronouncements ever come true. I try to be thankful for every day that no devastation occurs in my little life. Yet, being grateful, too, is a nod to the awful possibilities; you see, if I didn't realize that with every tragedy, there by the grace of God go I, then I wouldn't have the sense to be grateful when I am spared.
It makes sense to me, in a twisted way.