“Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.” ~ Jack London
I have often been intrigued by professional card players. I enjoy playing cards myself; but, merely for fun. I am not a true gambler. I just enjoy the camaraderie of playing with friends while we catch up on old times. Professional card players, though? That is another story entirely. I have watched card players on television play an absolutely awful hand and come out winning the big stakes. It was always a matter of part card and part personality that garnered their win. They proved that you do not always have to possess a good hand in order to be a winner. Pushing that analogy way beyond those limits, you do not even have to hands to be a winner.
I remember the first time I saw Tony Melendez. He was the person who had no arms and who sang and played the guitar with his feet for St. Pope John Paul II. One could say that Tony was dealt an incredibly horrible hand of cards. If anyone had an excuse to be sad, bitter, or depressed, it would seem to have been him. He did not allow the lack of arms to stop him. He developed the gifts that God had given him and used them wondrously, touching the hearts of many throughout the world.
We have had different people who were very physically challenged come to our school on several occasions in the past. Each time they arrived — barrel-rolling down a ramp, navigating with a specialized wheel chair, or entering some other way — the eyes of every student were fixed upon them. Even in a gym that reverberated noise, you could hear a pin drop during the presentations as the students listened to every word of their stories and heard their challenge to the students not to let circumstances in the students’ lives get them down.
The world might think that we have been dealt an impossible hand. The world would tell us it would be all right to be angry and take it out on others. God, on the other hand, gives us all the grace and strength that we need to overcome incredible circumstances and be shining witnesses to a world in need.
When we feel sorry for ourselves, we need, instead, to count our many blessings and ask God what we might do to tell the world that God is good.
FAITH ACTION: In God’s eyes, no hand is a bad hand. Be bold in playing the part that God asks of you for the sake of the Kingdom.