Mariyam was a curious ten year old when she heard her Mom and Dad talking about her little sister, Sara. She heard that she was very sick and the parents were completely out of money. They were moving to an apartment next month because Daddy didn’t have the money for the doctor’s bills. Only a complicated and costly surgery could save her little sister, which they could not afford.
No one was willing to loan the money. They approached friends and family but to no avail. She heard her mother sadly say to her father one night, “Only a miracle can save Sara now.”
Mariyam went to her playroom and thought about what she had heard. She knew that lots of medicines were sold at a pharmacy, maybe a miracle was in stock too? She pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet. She dragged out all the change she owned out on the floor and counted it carefully thrice.
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 Walgreen Drug Store. She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but she was too intently talking to another woman to be bothered by a little girl at this moment. Mariyam twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the loudest 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 sister from Mexico whom I haven’t seen in ages,” she said without waiting for a reply to her question.
“Well, I want to talk to you about MY sister,” Mariyam answered back in the same annoyed tone. “She’s really, really sick …and I want to buy a miracle.”
“I beg your pardon?” said the pharmacist.
Mariyam continued…”Her name is Sara and she has something bad growing inside her head and my Mother says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?”
“Um…We don’t sell miracles here, little girl. I’m sorry but I can’t help you.” the pharmacist said, softening a little.
The pharmacist’s sister was a well dressed woman. She stooped down and asked the little girl, “What kind of a miracle does your sister need?”
“I don’t know,” Mariyam replied with her eyes welling up. “I just know she’s really sick and Mommy says she 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 woman,
“One dollar and eleven cents,” Mariyam answered barely audibly. “And it’s all the money I have.”
“Well, what a coincidence,” smiled the woman. “A dollar and eleven cents-the exact price of a miracle for little sisters.”
She took her money in one hand and with the other hand she grasped her mitten and said “Take me to where you live. I want to see your sister and meet your parents. Let’s see if I have the kind of miracle you need.”
That well dressed woman was a surgeon, specializing in neurosurgery. The operation was completed without charge and it wasn’t long until Sara was home again safely.
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?
Mariyam 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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