Grif.Net

08/15/20 Weekend Grif.Net – Deeds, not Words

08/15/20 Weekend Grif.Net – Deeds, not Words

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. Hmm mmm, 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 away, 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 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 the =
world.’

 

With loving =
gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. =
Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red =
marbles.

 

We will not be =
remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.

 

~~

Dr Bob Griffin =

bob@grif.net =
www.grif.net

"Jesus =
Knows Me, This I Love!"