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The Price of a Miracle

When I heard the story I am about to relate here, I felt sure that my readers would understand why I posted it even though it has nothing to do with my usual blogging subjects. Please bear with me as we can all do with a miracle from time to time.

A little girl went to her bedroom, pulled out a money box from its hiding place in her closet and poured the coins out onto the floor. Then she counted them painstakingly – not once, not twice, but three times. She returned the coins to their hiding place, twisted the cap tightly, then slipped out of the back door and made her way to Rexall’s Drug Store which was six blocks away. She knew that she had to watch out for the large red Indian Chief sign above the door of the store.

She entered and waited patiently for the pharmacist to attend to her but he was far too busy. She moved her feet about on the rough wooden floor, making a noise to get his attention. Then she cleared her throat; … to no avail. The pharmacist continued talking on the telephone. Eventually she banged on the glass counter and that did the trick.

      ‘What do you want?’ the pharmacist asked in an irritated manner. ‘I’m talking to my brother in Chicago, you know. And I haven’t done that for a long time,’ he said, without waiting for her reply.

      ‘I need to talk to you about my brother,’ she replied in the same tone. ‘He’s really very ill … and, I want … I need to buy a miracle.’ 

      ‘What did you say?’ the pharmacist asked. ‘My brother has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So, please tell me how much a miracle will cost, sir.’

      ‘We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,’ he said, his tone softening a little.

      ‘But I have the money to pay for it … and if that isn’t enough, I can get more. Just tell me how much I need to give you.’

 There was another man in the store who chose that moment to stoop down to ask the little girl a question. ‘What kind of miracle does your brother need?’

      ‘I don’t know,’ she replied, tears welling up in her eyes. I just know that he’s really sick and my Mum 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.

      ‘One dollar and eleven cents,’ she whispered. ‘And it’s all the money that I have. But, I can get some more if I need to.’

      ‘Well, that’s a coincidence,’ smiled the man. ‘A dollar and eleven cents is the exact price you need for a miracle for a little brother.’ He took the money in one hand and with the other, grasped her little hand saying; ‘Take me to your house. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Then we will decide whether I have the miracle that you need.’

 That man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon who specialized in neuro-surgery. He operated on her brother free of charge and it wasn’t long before his patient was home again and doing well.

  ‘What happened was a real miracle,’ the little girl’s mother told her. ‘ I wonder how much it would have cost?’ The child smiled because she knew exactly how much a miracle was worth: one dollar and eleven cents, plus the faith of a little girl, of course.