No matter how much wealth we may gather in a lifetime, it will be impossible to put a price on the acts of kindness and care that we have willingly performed for others over the years. This story I recently received from a friend is just one small but joyful example of how a generous and compassionate act of kindness can completely change someone’s life.
A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar out from its hiding place in the closet. She pulled the change out on the floor, and counted it, three times, because the total had to be exactly perfect, and there was no chance for mistakes. Carefully placing the few coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she put on her warm coat, slipped out the back door and quickly walked the six blocks to the drugstore with the big Red Indian Chief sign on the front door.
Once there this determined little lady waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention, but he was too busy at this particular moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise, but nothing happened, then she cleared her throat with the most disgusting and noisy sound that she could muster! That was no good either, so she finally pulled a quarter from her jar and tapped it on the glass counter, and that did it! “And what do you want?” the pharmacist asked in a rather annoyed tone of voice.
“I’m talking with my brother from Chicago whom I haven’t seen in ages,” he said without even waiting for a reply to his question.
“Well, I want to talk to you about my little 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 said that only a miracle can save him now, so how much will this miracle cost?” she asked with panic in her voice.
“We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you,’ the pharmacist said, softening his voice a little.
“Listen,” Tess replied with tears in her eyes. “I have the money to pay for it, and if it isn’t enough I will get the rest, so please tell me how much a miracle costs.”
The pharmacist’s brother, a well-dressed man, quietly stooped down and asked the desperate little girl, “What kind of a miracle does your little brother need?”
“I don’t know,” Tess replied with her eyes welling up once again. “I just know that he’s really sick and Mommy says that he needs an operation, but my Daddy can’t pay for it, so I want to use all of my money.”
“How much do you have?” asked the kindly man from Chicago. “One dollar and 11 cents,” she replied in a barely audible voice. “And it’s all the money that I have, but I can somehow get some more if I need to.”
‘Well what a coincidence that is,” the man from Chicago replied with a smile. “A dollar and 11 cents is the exact price of a miracle for little brothers.” He carefully took her money from the jar 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, and then let’s see if I have the miracle that you need and have wished for so hard.”
That well-dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a prominent surgeon who specialized in neurosurgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn’t long until Andrew was at home again and doing very well with his loving family.
Later, Andrew’s mom and dad were happily chatting about the amazing chain of events that led to their son being cured of a serious illness that had threatened his life at such an early age. “That surgery,” his mother whispered, was a miracle, and I wonder how much it would have cost?” Their daughter, Tess smiled, because only she knew exactly how much that miracle cost. $1.11, plus the faith and unrelentless determination of a loving sister.
The unselfish and most precious act of reaching out to help others comes right from the heart, and no matter how big or how small that gift of giving and care may be, it has no price tag, but it is usually worth more at that special time than all the wealth in the world.
March will soon be turning into little rivers that make their way to the drains, and high boots will soon be in fashion, so just go ahead and have a great week, all of you!