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's 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 her some attention but he was too 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
"Listen, I have the money
to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much
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
"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
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.