Tess was eight years old. One day she heard that her Mom and Dad were talking about her little brother, Andrew. All she knew was that he was very ill and they were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment complex the following month because Daddy didn’t have the money for the doctor bills and the house. Only a very costly surgery could save him now and there was no-one to loan them the money. She heard Daddy say to her tearful Mother, “Only a miracle can save him now.”
Tess went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jar from 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. She carefully put the coins back in the jar and she slipped out the back door and made her way to Rexall’s Drug Store.
She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was talking to another man. Tess twisted her feet to make a noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with a disgusting sound. 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. I haven’t seen him 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.
“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. There were tears in her eyes. “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. “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 took her hand 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 this event. “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.