Today I was having trouble clearing my mind, even unclenching my jaw… so I decided that, instead of just trying to plow through my normal quiet time routine, it was once again time for “Pinochle with Jesus.”
I first tried this at a CFDM “Silent Retreat,” which promoted lots and lots of intense time one-on-one with God. So as an exercise in pure listening, I thought, “What would Jesus enjoy doing with me?” And the answer was: play Pinochle. And not because Jesus would like Pinochle, particularly, but because he would like playing with me.
One problem was: since my favorite form of the game is three-handed, who would play the third hand? And the response to that kind of came unbidden: the third hand would be played by my Old Self — the ultra-competitive poor loser that I used to be. I was surprised to find that Jesus and I actually had a good time with Old Self that day… but that’s a different story.
So today I closed my eyes and refocused closely in the darkness and envisioned sitting at a green felt-topped table in a dark room, once again with Jesus and Old Self for a three-handed game of Pinochle.
Old Self and I decided it was a good idea to let Jesus deal. At this point I was thinking, “Well, do we talk now? And if so, what do we talk about? Or do we just play?” Well, Jesus is a fast dealer, so I already had fifteen cards in front of me… so I picked up my hand and looked at it.
The left side of the hand was in shadow, but looked mostly like a bunch of low hearts. Smack in the middle was a jet-black solo king of spades. On the right was 10 through J of diamonds. This was an unbiddable hand. Only one chance at meld, depending on help from the kitty.
But what did it mean? What were Jesus and Old Self holding?
I looked back at the solo king. It stood out so brightly. What was it saying?
Well, from a practical standpoint this meant that the hands were unbalanced. Big meld was out there somewhere. Big meld in spades? Double Pinochle, maybe?
No! I had a jack of diamonds, after all. In fact, all I needed for a run in diamonds was an ace.
Wait! I’d seen this hand before, this very hand—and just a few days prior, at that!
I had no aces—someone was going to get 1000 aces, just like Jenn had done on JW’s birthday!
And it struck me: it didn’t matter who was going to get 1000 aces—but it did matter that Jesus decided it wasn’t going to be me… because he knew that I would be happy for whoever got them. Old Self, Jenn… anyone.
Jesus dealt the hand that gave Jenn 1000 aces.
Jesus dealt the hand that gave Old Self Jenn… definitely 1000 aces!
Jesus makes us all legendary, in different ways.