The fight progressed as many arguments between us had recently. I was out too much, didn’t spend enough time at home or give enough attention to my family – especially the kids, she said, but I knew she meant herself. The more she “discussed”, the louder and angrier she grew, and the more selective my listening became.
My defense was the same as always, but still sound in my estimation. I work hard at my factory job, eight to ten hours a day. I provide a better than minimum wage income to support my family. I deserve a few hours of playing cards with my friends. She knows these guys, and likes them, except on my “buddy” nights.
This time there was a new twist though. She compared my card nights to being unfaithful, not just to her, but also to God. She said we should be at church on Wednesday nights, involved in Bible study Mondays or Thursdays. We go to church nearly every Sunday. We’re involved in Sunday School before church. How much “church” does she think we need? Still, I didn’t like this new element in her argument.
It must have disturbed me more than I realized because I didn’t rest well. I tossed for some time. The thoughts of being unfaithful to my wife were utter nonsense; I dismissed those easily. It was the accusation of being unfaithful to God that unsettled me. I’m a fairly good Christian, at least average. I just play cards with my friends. That’s not a sin.
Restless thoughts became fitful dozing. I drifted off to sleep. Sleep succumbed to dreams that were a jumble – playing cards with friends, my wife berating me, being in court, cards being thrown at me - God the Judge. Instead of passing sentence, He offered to show me a new card game. The “suits” were lined up in numerical order. The twos came forward. He told me of groups of twos he’d used in the Bible – male and female, two-by-two in the ark; the two advents of the Messiah, His suffering and His Glory; the two witnesses prophesying at the end time. Then, the cards came forward, number by number, telling their own significance.
“Three is for the trinity –
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The Father loves, the Son redeems,
the Spirit comforts us the most.”
“Four is the four gospels –
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
They tell the purpose of Jesus,
God’s only Son.”
“Five is for the Books of Law,
the Pentateuch, which was brought
to help mankind come close to God
and know the One they sought.”
“Six stands for the days God made
objects of our world,
to give us life abundantly,
to explore and watch unfurl.”
“Seven is the most complete.
There’ll be seven judgments given.
These we will not see fulfilled
until we’re called to heaven.”
“Eight covenants we have been given,
promises of God,
to let us know He’s in control,
with Mercy through His blood.”
“Nine Fruit of the Spirit has been given
to unite and give direction,
they draw the moral portrait of Christ,
our model of perfection.”
“Ten Prophets, before the exile came,
told the people to repent,
retain their faith, proclaim God’s might,
avoid His chastisement.”
“The Jacks came forth, these would-be-kings,
earthly leaders not so strong,
their kingdoms whither under His Breath,
their reign is not so long.”
“The Queen stands for the Bride of Christ –
the one He gave life for,
to purify, bring to Himself,
the one He did restore.”
“The King is Jesus, His second advent,
in Glory and in Power,
He is coming back for us,
we know not what the hour.”
“The Ace is God Almighty,
Alpha, Adonai is He,
He is the One who was and is
and evermore shall be.”
The parade of cards came to an end and I awoke with new understanding.
I still play cards with my buddies, but only one game a week and I’m home in plenty of time to help my children with their homework and to be there when they are tucked in. My favorite card game, now, is Solitaire, but I never play it alone. Each member of our family tries to complete a suit and with each card we play, we have to give some significance for that number from the Bible. My wife says she’s happy that we now have a “Family Bible Study”.
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