What's the miracle cost?
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Tess was a precocious eight years old when she
heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she
knew was that he was very sick and they were completely out of money. They
were moving to an apartment complex next month because Daddy didn't have
the money for the doctor bills and our house. Only a very costly surgery
could save him now and it was looking like there was no-one to loan them
the money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother with whispered
desperation, "Only amiracle can save him now."
Tess went to her
bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.
She poured all the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three
times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for
mistakes. Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the
cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's
Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.
waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was
too intently talking to another man to be bothered by an eight year old at
this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She
cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No
good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass
counter. That did it!
"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked
in an annoyed tone of voice. "I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom
I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his
"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess
answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick ... and
I want to buy a miracle."
"I beg your pardon?" said the
"His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing
inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how
much does a miracle cost?"
"We don't sell miracles here, little
girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you." the pharmacist said, softening a
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't
enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."
pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the
little girl, "What kind of a miracle does you brother need?"
don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know he's
really sick and Mommy says he needs a operation. But my Daddy can't pay
for it, so I want to use my money. "How much do you have?" asked the man
"One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely
audibly. "And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and
eleven cents -- the exact price of a miracle for little brothers." He took
her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her and said
"Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your
parents. Let's see if I have the kind of miracle you need."
well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in
neuro-surgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn't
long until Andrew was home again and doing well. Mom and Dad were happily
talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place. "That
surgery," her mom whispered. "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it
would have cost?"
Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle cost... one
dollar and eleven cents... plus the faith of a little child.