Cross your fingers.

I am in Washington Reagan airport today.  My flight was cancelled last night, due to weather in the south, but today it looks like flights are on again.  I just asked Mallory:

Keep your fingers crossed!

That statement got me to wondering its origins.  According to Wikipedia:

To cross one’s fingers was a hand gesture commonly used to implore  God for protection, as well as to wish for good luck.  The gesture is referred to by the common expression “keeping one’s fingers crossed” or just “fingers crossed” and has also been historically used in order to allow believers to recognize one another during times of persecution.

In the time of the early church, Christians would cross their fingers in order to invoke the power associated with the Christian cross for protection, when faced with evil.   Moreover, Christians, when persecuted by the Romans, used the symbol of crossed fingers, along with the Ichthys, in order to recognize one another and assemble for worship services.   In 16th century  England, people continued to cross fingers or make the sign of the cross in order to ward off evil, as well as when people coughed or sneezed.

I always find it interesting how many sayings have Christian origins.  As I look now at my crossed fingers, I picture the cross and the those who used it as a secret symbol to other Christians.  I will think differently about that simple statement from now on.

Dear God,
Thank you for putting me here, in a time and place where I am free to worship you without persecution.  Please protect and guide those who are not as lucky, until we are all able to meet at your heavenly home.
In the name of your Son,

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