True Greatness and Simple Miricales

A few days ago I read a sweet blog K:princess: wrote on What is Greatness. Today I ran across this Old Story - I'm sure many of you have read it before, But today I'm gonna share it with you again just as a reminder.


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

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.

No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em

Well, what have you to trade me for some of those

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

I left the store smiling to myse lf, 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 barte ring
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.

May we always remember that each one of use is capable of True Greatness
each day of our lives, And everyday is filled with miracles.