Skip to main content

His Blue Marble—and Mine


It was early November. I received a phone call from my neighbor offering to bring supper. I gratefully accepted. A few hours later she was at my door with a casserole and a book. We devoured the delicious supper. The book I placed on our headboard for some late night reading.

That’s when my story of the blue marble began.

The book was called It’s All Grace: The Best of Eppinga. Many Banner readers remember Eppinga as a regular contributor, a master storyteller. Creative. Witty. This book is a collection of his best stories. Each night before I drifted off to sleep I would read one.

In one story, Eppinga tells of carrying a blue marble around in his pocket. He called it Old Bluey. He writes, “While casting about for an idea for the children’s message for the coming Sunday, my fingers—playing with the blue marble—gave me an idea. It worked out pretty well. The children came forward, and I showed them my blue marble. I said that God holds the whole world in his hands just like I hold my blue marble in mine. I said sometimes I forget about my blue marble, but God never forgets the world. I said sometimes I lose or misplace my blue marble, but God never loses or misplaces us. I showed them the chip in my blue marble, pointing out that it wasn’t perfect. But, I added, this isn’t a perfect world either because of sin. I told the children to get a blue marble of their own and put it on their dressers.”

After finishing the story I drifted off to sleep.

I woke up the next morning with marbles on my mind. Where in our house would I find a blue marble? Our kids were not marble collectors as their mom was always afraid they would choke on them. Now these same kids were grown. A blue marble in this house?

It was time to get up. I put thoughts of marbles from my mind and got on with my day.

Supper rolled around.

Another phone call—my daughter needed to be picked up from a babysitting job. There was a chill in the air, so I headed downstairs to pull my winter coat from hibernation. I plunged my hands into the pockets, hoping for some extra change. Deep down among the litter, my fingers found a bright blue marble.

We all have difficulties in our lives. When the journey seems hard to bear, some of us will feel God nearby. Others, like me, will feel his distance. But as I savored the feel of that marble in the palm of my hand, I knew without a doubt that God was nearby. He holds me in the palm of his hand, just as he holds the whole world.

My marble lives among the change and peppermints in the bottom of my purse—a constant reminder that God does have the whole world in his hands.


    Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

We Are Counting on You

The Banner is more than a magazine; it’s a ministry that impacts lives and connects us all. Your gift helps provide this important denominational gathering space for every person and family in the CRC.

Give Now