Friday, October 28, 2011

Three Marbles

Quickly piling into the back seat of the well-worn Jeep, our small group was abuzz with what we had just experienced.

"Did you see that little boy, the one with the red shirt?"

"I know, I know.  It broke my heart, too.  But their smiles, did you see their smiles?"

"Absolutely.  And their love?"


I hear a small voice next to me.  On my right sits my blonde-haired eight-year-old son, my bold man-child named Caleb, whose name itself means courage.  Caleb had wished and hoped and prayed to join us on this short-term mission trip to Colombia, South America, and now here he was, riding beside me in the backseat and hugging and loving everyone in the name of Jesus right along with our group.



I turn to look his way, distracted with all of the stories I am hearing from our friends riding with us.

His small hand, still fresh with youth and innocence, unspeckled of age and worry, holds three marbles.  Their dull glass surfaces are clouded with the grime of the village street.

I would easily toss these in the trash on any given day, along with the miscellaneous Legos, bits of Play-Doh and broken crayons that I find hidden in the nooks and crannies of our home. 

"Where did you get those, Caleb?"

"A little boy gave them to me back at the slum, Mama.  I tried to give them back to him a couple times, but he kept pushing them in my hands and shaking his head and pointing at me and smiling.  Is it okay if I keep them?"

A hush fell over all of us.

Our missionary friend driving the Jeep made eye contact with Caleb in the rearview mirror.

"Caleb, you need to know that those three marbles you hold in your hand were probably the only earthly possession that young boy owned."  Dale explained.  "They are most likely the only manufactured toy that he has ever had.  It is truly a great treasure for him to give them to you."

This story, and others like it, stay with me.  They become a part of the fabric of our hearts, the quilt of the story of our lives.

And the question remains...What do I do with what the Lord has blessed me with?  Am I holding tightly onto my three marbles, fists clenched shut; or like the young boy with open hands and willing heart, will I choose to smile and give it all away for Christ?

For His Glory,



  1. "It is better to give than to receive." Acts 20:35

  2. Oh how my heart was disturbed by this story this morning...hoping that I do only His will with my marbles.