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Rain

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom in a shopping center. She must have been 6 years old, this beautiful red haired, freckle faced image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the center.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall. I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in.
"Mom, let's run through the rain," she said. - "What?" Mom asked.
"Let's run through the rain!" she repeated.
"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied.

This young child waited about another minute and repeated: "Mom, let's run through the rain,"
"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.
"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm. "This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"
"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said,
'If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!"

Now the entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If GOD let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories... So, don't forget to make time and take the opportunities to make memories everyday.
 
To Everything There Is A Season And A Time To Every Purpose Under Heaven! 
(Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Bob Perks


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 zackly 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 0'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' 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.
 
We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds.

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER
THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED.
Author unknown

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