The Red Marbles…

Magnificent Promises

This week I want to share a heart touching story.  It’s really a story of what life is all about.   I hope you enjoy “The Red Marbles” author unknown.

The 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 very 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,” said the boy. 

”Is that right?  Let me see it’ said Miller.

‘Here ’tis. She’s a dandy.

”I can see that. Hmm, 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’.  He said to 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 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’ with 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…                                                    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.

It’s not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived!

What a wonderful story about living our lives.  When Jesus walk on this earth He gave as two commandments to live by.  First He told us to Love God before everything else and to love one another.  Matthew 22:37-40 tells us,  “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” 

This story tells of the one man’s love for others.  He never belittled or embarrassed the boy in need by offering charity.  He found a way to help those three families by bartering with the boys for marbles.  He provided food for the families which showed a true love for others.  In john 13:34 Jesus said,  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  

Are you loving others as Jesus commands us to do?  What are you doing to love others?  We find in 1 John 4:11,  “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”  Is your love for others falling a little short.  Also in 1 John 4:16 tells us, “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”   God is LOVE.

My question to you… If God is love… is Gods love shining through you to others? Are you an living example of Gods love?  Maybe you have never known or shown God’s love, or maybe you had it, but it’s faded and not as strong as it once was.  If this sounds like you, it’s time to make or renew your relationship with God.  There is no better time than now!

Please… if you don’t know Christ or have fallen away please pray… Tell God you believe His Son Jesus paid for your sins and rose again. Tell God you are sorry and want to start Living for Him. He will forgive your sins and mistakes and give you Everlasting Life with Him… and place His Spirit deep within your heart. In 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I pray that God will truly Help and Bless you. If you would like for me to pray with you, please email me at

May God Bless and Keep!

I thank you for reading my blog. I do not claim to be any expert or affiliated with any religious organization. All I can say is that I’m affiliated with my Lord Jesus Christ. This is one man’s opinion and observations. My hope is I stirred up some thoughts for you to think about. There is one place where we can find all the answers to life. That road map is Commonly known as the Bible. If you want the answers to life all you have to do is read. If you would like me to pray with you or want to send a comment please email me at

For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16









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