How Much Does A Miracle Cost?

A True Story

           Tess was a precocious eight year 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 a miracle 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. She waited patiently for
          the pharmacist to give hersome attention but he was to
          busy 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 question.

          "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 pharmacist. "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
          little.

          "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."

          The 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?"

          "I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up.
          "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs
          an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so
          I want to use my money.

          "How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago.

          "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 to.

          "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 mitten 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." That 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.


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