Praying with Cards
A young soldier was lying in a field hospital, his legs blown clean off by friendly fire. Next to him was his Sergeant, struck blind two days before. The young soldier held a deck of cards.
"Let me tell you something, Sergeant," said the soldier. "It's Sunday and we don't have any bibles handy, but I could use this deck of cards here to say a little prayer. You can't see it, of course, but let me tell you what that prayer would be."
The young soldier thumbed through the cards, looking at their faces.
"A deck of cards has four suits," he said. "The hearts are God's love. The diamonds are the riches of Heaven. The spades are the poor, lost children of Cain. And the clubs are for unbelievers.
"And what about the pips? I have an ace here, Sergeant. That reminds me that I have only one deck of cards, the one true word.
"The two represents the two parts of the Bible -- the true part and the Jewish part.
"The three are the three Mary's in the Bible -- Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Madeline, and the other Mary.
"The four stands for the four pierced hands of the two thieves at each of Jesus's sides, two each.
"The five is the five loaves of bread and five fishes that Jesus cut into little, tiny pieces so that each of 10,000 people could have some.
"The six is for the six days God took to create the heavens and the earth.
"The seven is for the day God rested, and the following six days he took fixing little problems with the system because he'd made it in such a hurry.
"Eight is for the food Jesus ate a the last supper.
"Nine is German for 'no,' and you must know Jesus to be saved.
"And the ten, jack, queen, king, and another ace is a straight flush, which beats your full house. I win again. Want to play another round, double or nothing, Sergeant?"
But the Sergeant didn't answer. He had died in peace while listening to the young soldier's words. And his soul went straight to Hell, because although he had lived a good life and only two days before lost his eyes while saving the inhabitants of an entire orphanage, he was Catholic.
Behind the Legend
This wonderful, touching, moving story is completely true -- every word of it. Well, except the part about Catholics going to hell. We're still checking on that.