Updated: Jan 15
This is a story that my dad relayed to me as a young girl. Later in life, I found a song by Tex Ritter, a pioneer of American country music, a popular singer and actor from the mid-1930s into the 1960s. I have used his photos of the cards and after you read this, click on the YouTube link at the end to hear Tex Ritter tell the story.
Growing up, I remember my parents playing cards. I always loved Friday nights with friends and family. Living in an Italian family, the aromas of food filled the air and the children always had homemade pizza. We pushed each other to sneak a peek through the kitchen door to watch the adults play cards. We were told to go play or we would be in trouble. One night, my father, Anthony, was tired of me trying to sneak a peek. Yes, I wanted to see for myself what was so interesting about playing cards. He told me if I stayed away and he would tell me a story about cards the next day.
I was so excited. The next morning, I was up before anyone, and jumped on my parent’s bed. “Tell me the story,” I shouted, as I woke up my father. I waited while he poured a cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice for me. He instructed me to sit down and this time, I was obedient. He opened up the cards and arranged them in order and told me this story.
As he picked up the ace, he told me how the ace represented one God. This immediately caught my attention. “What did God have to do with cards?” I asked. He replied, “Be patient.”
He picked up the number two card and told me how the Bible is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
He continued, slowly, even though I was becoming impatient. The number three represents the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I wasn’t sure who the Holy Spirit was.
The number four represents the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
He stopped and poured some coffee and gave me a piece of toast with jam, my favorite.
The five represent the wise virgins that trimmed their lamps. There were ten, five were wise and five were foolish. Matthew 25:1-13 When I asked what was a virgin, he said, “When you’re a little older, I’ll explain.” It seemed to satisfy my inquisitive nature.
Six represents the days that God made heaven and earth. Genesis 1
Seven represents the day God rested and called the day Holy. Genesis 2:3
The number eight represents the persons God saved: Noah, his wife, their three sons and their wives. He said they were in a big ark with two kinds of every animal in it. I didn’t know what an ark was, but because there were animals in it, I wanted to go with them.
Nine represents the lepers our Saviour cleansed, and nine out of ten didn’t thank him.
The number ten represents the 10 Commandments. I asked him if that was like the one to obey our mother and father. He smiled and nodded.
K is for One King JESUS
Q is the Queen which represents the Virgin Mary, Jesus’ mother.
J is for the joker that represents the Devil. The Jack is a reminder of Satan, one of God’s angels, but he got kicked out of heaven for his sly and wicked ways and is now the joker of eternal hell.
He went on to tell me other things about the deck of cards he held.
There are 365 spots on a deck of cards.
52 cards represent weeks in the years.
Each suit has 13 cards. There are exactly thirteen weeks in a quarter.
4 suits represent summer, fall, winter, and spring.
The red cards represent the blood that Jesus shed for our sins. Romans 5:8
The black cards represent spiritual darkness because of sin. Romans 2:23
12 picture cards, the number of months in a year.
When he was all done, he looked at me and said this is a story that a friend told him. He had served in World War II and always carried a deck of cards with him. His friend told my father that he could share with other soldiers about Jesus by using his cards. I never forgot that morning as my father patiently told me about his friend and the cards .
This was originally done in a song performed by Tex Ritter. Enjoy watching him perform on the link below.