Sunday, September 16, 2007

Kind Deeds


RED MARBLES
I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I
noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean,
hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas. I paid for my
potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a
pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I
couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller
(the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
"Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas.
They sure look good."
"They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?"
"Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time."
"Good. Anything I can help you with?"
"No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas."
"Would you like to take some home?" asked Mr. Miller.
"No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with."
"Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?"
"All I got's my prize marble here."
"Is that right? Let me see it" said Miller.
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I
sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?"
the store owner asked.
"Not zackley but almost."
"Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next
trip this way let me look at that red marble". Mr. Miller told the boy.
"Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller."
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
With a smile she said, "There are two other boys like him in our
community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to
bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they
come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he
doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce
for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip
to the store."
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A
short time later I moved toColorado, but I never forgot the story of this
man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one.
Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho
community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.
They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends
wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the
mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and
to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army
uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white
shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller,
standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.
Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek,
spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket.
Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one, each
young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over
the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly,
wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and
reminded her of the story from those many years ago and
what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles.
With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
"Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you
about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim "traded"
them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or
size....they came to pay their debt."
"We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world," she
confided, "but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in
Idaho ."
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her
deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely
shined red marbles.

The Moral : We will not be remembered by our words, but by our
kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the
moments that take our breath.
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~
A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself.
An unexpected phone call from an old friend.
Green stoplights on your way to work.
The fastest line at the grocery store.
A good sing-along song on the radio.
Your keys found right where you left them.
Send this to the people you'll never forget. I just Did...
If you don't send it to anyone, it means you are in way too much
of a hurry to even notice the ordinary miracles when they occur.

5 comments:

THE KING'S SHEPHERD said...

This is a heart warming story Babs!
How are you doing this week?

Babz said...

King's Shepherd, Yes, I thought it was sweet, too. I am fairly well and how 'bout yourself? Nice of you to ask, my friend and I hope your blessings find you.

THE KING'S SHEPHERD said...

I am doing okay sweet Babz. In some ways it has been a rough week, but in others it has been really good. Today was a nice day...got to spend some time with some friends and have just been relaxing tonight.
Glad to hear you are fairly well. How is your pain these days? Is it still as bad as it was?

THE KING'S SHEPHERD said...

Hi Babz! Hadn't heard from you in a while so I just wanted to pop my head in and make sure you are doing okay. I just spent some time praying for you my sweet friend.
Thinking of you,
Lori

Babz said...

King's Shepherd, I appreciate your prayers, I desperately needed them. I pray in return, that God blesses you for your full heart.

Hugz!