Three 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 appraising 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 to Colorado, but  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, then 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 colour 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 riches man in Idaho.” With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. 

Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.


By W. E. Petersen

Life is not counted only by the breaths we take or even by the breaths that take our breath away, if it was then we would  then not appreciate the ordinary occurrences of life and be thankful for them and see the wonder they hold.

  The real riches of this world are Spiritual not wordly, they come from Love and God is Love and all good things come from Him.

 1 Thessalonians 5 :18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Proverbs 10: 22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.


About Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus

Hi I’m a Spiritual Child of The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, my name is Anne. I live in Queensland Australia, I’m very much a People person believing we are all people of worth and unique, so I have much Joy in sharing with people personally and over the Internet. My main focus in life is my wonderful Friendship with Jesus Christ, without Him everything else would be meaningless, I have deep heartfelt thanks and appreciation that I'm a Spiritual Child of The King of Kings and I seek to share with others how truly wonderful that is with the hope they too will realize the same and be set free.
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4 Responses to Three Red Marbles …

  1. Ron says:

    Great story about the Mr Millers of life, there are so many going about doing kind and thoughtful deeds un sung and unheralded, we can all know of one .Life would be the poorer without them .



  2. An old, old story, Anne, but there is nothing wrong with old stories. I love the “Old, Old Story” with its message ever new.
    Thanks for the reminder that we have many, many opportunities to help people and to share the love of God.


    • Freedomborn says:

      Hi Angela, yes it is an old story but as I found out not a lot of young people have heard it, anyway as you said a good story never ages and yes so True, God’s Truth is eternal.

      Angela have you noticed that people who will not accept correction are quick to correct others without having the conformation of Scripture, just their own understanding based on their own agenda… sad but True.

      I like sharing with you Angela because our friendship in the Lord is not dependant on what we think but on what God tells us and because you have Godly wisdom even if like me you are still learning through Jesus our only Teacher and as He empowers us through the Holy Spirit to share His Truth, we know even if rejected good seeds are being planted.

      You are a blessing – Christian Love Anne


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