Excerpted and translated from the book Mes Racines Sont Dans le Ciel by Father Pierre Ceyrac, Presse de la Renaissance, Paris, 2004
“I bless all the children on this planet who are facing health challenges in the assurance that the infinite Life, which is in all of us, forever envelopes them with Its active and unceasing tenderness.” Pierre Pradervand
This is the true story of an eight year old little girl who loved much and believed that love can achieve wonders.
Her little brother, whom she adored, was dying of a brain tumor. Her parents, who were not wealthy people, had done everything in order to save him. Their entire savings were gone, and they had been forced to move in order to pay the hospital bills. Returning home one day, exhausted from another day of fruitless efforts, the father sank into a chair and told his teary-eyed wife: “You know, dear, I think this is the end. We have done everything and we are ruined … There might be a very expensive operation that could save him. But it is exorbitant and nobody will lend us money.”
And, getting closer to his wife, he added in a hoarse voice: “Yes, you know, it is the end. Only a miracle could save him.”
The little girl, from a corner of the room, was following her parents’ conversation with intensity. She could not understand everything but she knew that it was about her little brother’s life. Only a miracle could save him.
She etched this word that she did not really understand in her little brain and quietly left the room. She went to her room, took her piggy-bank, emptied it on her bed and started to count carefully: one dollar and eleven cents. She closed the piggy-bank, put it in her pocket and left the house without making any noise. She walked to the nearest pharmacy. When it was her turn, she approached the counter, stood on tiptoes and lined up all her coins in front of the surprised pharmacist.
“What is all this? What would you like, little one?”
“It is for my little brother, Andrew, Mr. Pharmacist. He is very, very ill and I have come to buy a miracle.”
“What are you talking about?” the pharmacist asked.
“His name is Andrew, and he has a pimple growing in his head, and father told mother that it was the end and a miracle was needed to save him. You know, I love him a lot; that is why I am here, to buy a miracle.”
“You know, child, we don’t sell miracles here …”
“But you know, if this is not enough I will try to get more money, how much does a miracle cost?”
There was in the pharmacy a tall, well-dressed gentleman who had been listening to this strange conversation. He approached the child who was collecting her coins with tears in her eyes.
“Why are you crying, little one? What is going on?”
“Mr. Pharmacist won’t sell me a miracle or tell me how much it costs … It’s for my little brother Andrew, who is very ill. Mother said an operation would be needed, but father said we can’t pay, it’s too expensive, and only a miracle could save him. That’s why I brought all I have.”
“How much do you have?”
‘One dollar and eleven cents … but I could find a little more,” she whispered in a barely audible voice.
The gentleman smiled: “Well, you know, I don’t think that will be necessary; one dollar and eleven cents – that is exactly the price of a miracle for your little brother!”
He gathered the coins and gently took the child’s hand in his. “Take me to your house, child. I would like to see your brother and also your parents and see if I can find the miracle you need.”
So the little girl and the tall gentleman walked away, hand in hand. The well-dressed gentleman was none other than Dr. Carlton Armstrong, the noted neuro-surgeon. He operated on Andrew, who returned home a few weeks later, completely healed.
“This operation, whispered the mother, was a true miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost …”
The little girl smiled without saying anything. She knew how much the miracle cost … one dollar and eleven cents … and, of course, the love and the faith of a child.
If hope made you walk
Beyond the fear,
You will lift up your eyes.
Then you will be able to hold on
All the way to God’s sun.
From Hymne de la Liturgie des Heures