A RED MARBLE
During the waning years of the depression in a small southeastern Idaho community, I used
to stop by Mr. Miller's roadside stand for farm-fresh produce as the season made it
available. Food and money were still extremely scarce and bartering was used, extensively.
One particular day Mr. Miller was bagging some early potatoes for me. I noticed a small
boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprizing 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 and
the ragged boy next to me. "Hello Barry, how are you today?"
"H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin'
them peas ... 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?"
"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."
"Here 'tis. She's a dandy."
"I can see that. Hmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do
you have a red one like this at home?"
"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."
"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
I left the stand, 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.
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 viewing that evening and knowing my friends wanted
to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon our 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 ... very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing smiling and
composed, 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 mentioned the story she had
told me about the marbles.
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.
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.
Believing in another
Her name was Mrs. Thompson. As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first
day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students
and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the
front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with
the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And
Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take
delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big
"F" at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mrs.Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past
records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was
in for a surprise. Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a
ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be
His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his
classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home
must be a struggle."
His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death had been hard on him. He tries to
do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect
him if some steps aren't taken."
Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much
interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself.
She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents,wrapped in beautiful
ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the
heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in
the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she
found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was on
quarter-full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how
pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbed some of the perfume on her wrist.
Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson,
today you smelled just like my mother used to." After the children left, she cried
for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing and
arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention
to Teddy. As she worked with him, the faster he responded.
By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class, and
despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her
A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still
the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He wrote that he had finished
high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his
Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at
times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with
the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best teacher he
ever had in his whole life.
Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after
he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that
she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little
longer - the letter was signed Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.
The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said
he'd met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had
died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the
place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course,
Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several
rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy
remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.
They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you
Mrs. Thompson for believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and
showing me that I could make a difference."
Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back, "Teddy, you have it all wrong.
You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach
until I met you."
Please remember that
where ever you go, and whatever you do, you will have the opportunity to touch and/or
change a person's outlook. Please try to do it in a positive way.
"Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering
how to fly."
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
FWD: Look at this picture
This is a somewhat different Image. Some
people have said that
This picture is miraculous and sacred.
It is in the form of a Novena that is claimed was started in 1952 from Mother Theresa.
The request is that when you view it you say the following:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name,
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven, give us this day our
daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and
lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
It shall be well with you this coming year. No matter how much your enemies
try this year, they will not succeed. You have been destined to make it and
you shall surely achieve all your goals this year.
For all of 2011, all your agonies will be diverted and victory and prosperity will be
incoming in abundance. Today confirms the end of your sufferings, sorrows, pain and
hardships. You are given JOY.
The sender says
that this is a powerful Novena which has never been broken in the intervening years.
It came to me with dire warnings of what would happen if I did not pass it on.
But you know what? I don't believe those terrible things would come from God.
I just don't. So, If you would like to participate please feel free to
do so. But God loves you whether you say the prayer or not. Remember that God
loves you as he loves all his children. He would never wish you or those you love
ill health or any abnormal hardship. When bad things happen to good people it has
nothing to do with whether you did or did not participate in a Novena that was sent to you
in an email.
Do the prayers and religious observances that bring you joy.
Do those that fill your heart and mind with the
Peace of Christ.
Do this Novena if you feel that it will comfort
your soul. Not because you fear what will happen to you IF you do not do it.
May God Bless you and keep you always.
For The Thorns
I thank you, Lord, for every thorn,
Each heavy burden I have born.
The darkest moments of despair,
And every cross I've had to bear.
I'm glad I've suffered grief and pain,
Those seasons of distress and strain,
That stunned my pride and humbled me,
And turned my stubborn heart to Thee.
And thank You Lord, for every tear,
I've shed for those I hold so dear.
For 'tho I trusted you before,
Each crisis made me love you more.
For as the sorrows came and went,
They left me tired, weak, and spent.
With all my hope and courage gone,
I could not make it on my own.
'Twas then my prayers were most sincere,
With tender hands You soothed my fears,
And as my selfish will was purged,
A stronger, deeper faith emerged.
If I had had a life of ease,
And could have lived the way I pleased,
I might have never known the thrill,
Of living in Thy holy will.
The mountain tops, I must confess,
Were not where I was at my best.
But in the shadow of the vale,
I came to know my Savior well.
But for the valleys I've been through.
I may not love you as I do.
And might have never realized,
That thorns are blessings in disguise.
So, THANK YOU, Lord, on bended knee,
For everything you've given me.
Of life's desires, I've had the best,
Abundant joy and happiness.
Both light and shadows filled my days.
And looking back, I have to say,
The roses bloomed.............
They died............. I mourned.
And today, I THANK YOU......
For the thorns.