Hey...it's Friday the 13th! My lucky day!
I'm kidding a little...cause I don't actually believe in luck...but I'm not being sarcastic. I actually like the number 13...and it started with a specific Friday the 13th from my childhood.
When I was a kid I liked to collect old and unusual buttons (it was one of the many things I collected then). My button collection started when I discovered a box full of beautiful old buttons that were being sold for a quarter each at this wonderful shop in California called "The Sea." Can't remember what city it's in now, but it's an amazing place...they have a whale skeleton on the wall, shells inlaid into the floor, and hundreds of nautical nick-knacks. Buttons don't exactly fit into their theme, but for some reason they were selling them that day, and I picked out some beautifully ornate ones which were the first in my collection.
After that I started going to antique shops trying to find more. That takes us to Friday the 13th in 4th grade. In class the students had been talking about how "SCARY" the day was, and wondering what strange horrible things would happen that day. The teacher even told us some spooky stories.
After school that day, my mom took me to an antique shop. Inside I found some pretty glass buttons with flowers painted on them, and asked the shopkeeper how much they were. "Free," she said. "You can take them."
Next door was a different antique shop where I found a little black button with a fake diamond set it it. Again, I asked the shopkeeper how much it was, and he too said I could keep it.
So, I decided that the whole Friday 13th things was a bunch of bunk...that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the number 13.
Much later I discovered another piece of trivia that makes me like the number 13 even more. A chapter in the Bible many of you may be familiar with, the chapter on love, is 1 Corinthians 13...and it is exactly 13 verses long. For those of you not familiar with it, here's what it says...
1 Corinthians 13
1. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9-10. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
12. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
It's hard to think of 13 as a "scary" number in light of that.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear."
- 1 John 4:18a
So, when my oldest son was born on a 13th, it was just one more reason to like the number. His birthday will always be a special day for me, even when it falls on a Friday.