Shuffle, Bridge, Deal AKA: God says put down the phone

I played cards this weekend. A wonderful card game that was taught to me by one of the kiddos I see in my private practice. I love this kid for a BUNCH of reasons but I also love him because he taught me two of the coolest card games ever (Instructions here) that I teach other kids. Those kids sometimes teach the coolest card game ever to other kids. You see where I am going with this........

I am teaching him to shuffle and do the bridge at the end. It's a fun time.

I went out of town for Labor Day and at the last minute, I threw a deck of cards in my bag knowing we would have some down time. I was correct and was able to "school" my friend. (I ended up losing, btw.....)  As I was shuffling the cards and doing the bridge, I thought about the kiddo who taught me how to play this game and how he is one of the most resilient kids I have ever gotten to work with.

That thought led into the next------my grandmother sitting at the kitchen table playing solitaire, hand after hand; shuffling and bridging the cards. Sometimes I sat on her lap as she played around me. I remember asking her why she didn't look under the cards so she wouldn't lose as much. She replied, "What would be the fun of that? It's cheating."

My little 3rd grade self was a little fuzzy on rules (44 year old self rolls her eyes!) "But if you looked underneath, you wouldn't lose as much..." I said to her. 


She didn't respond and shrugged her shoulders. The message with that shrug was clear: You shuffle, bridge the cards and deal.

I thought about that story as I dealt out a new hand. You shuffle, bridge, deal. My grandmother taught me that. And my uncle. And my mom. And my best friends' mom. And my sisters. And my 7th grade history teacher. And my pastor. And my best friend. And a college professor. And a bus-driver. (Again, you get the point.....)

I use to think we were like ripples in a pond--connection and love spreading outward but one ring doesn't have impact on the next. I don't see it that way anymore. We are a net. Each piece connected to the next piece and so on. We teach people how to shuffle and bridge and deal by doing and watching and connecting. 

This week I pray for my friends in Haiti and in Florida. I pray for the people in Texas. 

I pray for our connections. I pray that we put down the phones, tablets, remotes and connect. Go teach someone how to play a card game. It could change their life. And theirs.