Stephen A. Peterson
Marie was just nine years old when she heard her mother and father talking about her little sister, Cindy, as she entered the front door having been in school all day. All Marie could understand was that Cindy was very, very ill and that her father been given notice that the nearby automobile plant in Midwest City, Oklahoma would be permanently shutting down next month. The unemployment compensation her father would receive could not pay the bills, feed the family and see to her sister’s hospitalization. Marie’s mother and father decided that her sister had to have the surgery to save her life. To obtain the needed funds, valuables had to be pawned off, the house sold, their retirement and college funds cashed in. Marie heard her father say to her tearful mother in a low desperate voice, “Honey, only a miracle can save what we have now and possible our precious daughter.”
Marie went to her bedroom, shut her door, went to her closet and pulled out a small shoebox. She turned the contents of the shoebox over pouring it onto the floor. She counted the money she had been saving for a rainy day. Marie carefully counted her savings five times. It totaled $19.85 in coins and bills. She rolled the bills placing a rubber band around it, put the change in a plastic sandwich bag, stuffed them both in her little purse and slipped out the front door. Marie made her way to Saint Anthony’s hospital 7 blocks away.
Marie walked into the hospital, got on the elevator and made her way to Sister Veronica’s office. She sat down and waited. Finally, Marie took a five dollar bill from her purse and placed it on the secretary’s desk.
“May I help you young lady?” asked the secretary.
“I wanna see Sister Veronica, please!”
“Do you have an appointment with Sister?”
“Well, no. But I have to talk to Sister Veronica.”
“Sister Veronica is very busy and may not be able to see you right now. Can you tell me what this all about?”
“Yes. It’s about my baby sister. She’s really sick…and I read that Saint Anthony has caused miracles. I want to talk to Sister Veronica about getting me a miracle for my sister. Here’s five dollars. I want to buy a miracle!!!!”
“I beg your pardon, young lady,” said the secretary.
“My sister’s name is Cindy. My daddy said my sister has something wrong with her heart and only a miracle can save my sister now. I wanna talk to Sister Veronica about a miracle. You’re Sister Veronica’s secretary. How much does a miracle cost? Here is five dollars to start. If you want more, I have more. Please, let me see Sister Veronica. I know can talk to Saint Anthony about a miracle for my sister.”
“Young lady, this is a hospital. We don’t sell miracle!!”
“Listen, I said. I have the money to take care of the cost of it. If the money I have right now is not enough, I’ll get the rest of it. Now can I talk to Sister Veronica about this, please? My sister is really sick!”
At that moment, Sister Veronica came out of her office heard much of the conversation between Marie and the secretary. “Come on into my office, young lady. How may I help you?”
My sister’s name is Cindy. She’s really sick. My daddy says she needs a miracle. I found out that Saint Anthony had cured people. This is Saint Anthony’s hospital so I figured that you have the inside track on maybe getting my sister a miracle. I have $19.85. Is that enough?” Marie said boldly. “That’s all I have Sister. If I have to, I’ll get more. I can’t let her die,” Marie said tearfully.
Tears welled in Sister Veronica’s eyes. “What is your name young lady?”
“Marie, Marie Finley, Sister.”
“Well, Miss Marie Finley would you sit in the secretary’s office for a few minutes, please?”
Marie slowly and tearfully moved into the secretary’s office once again. She sat and waited. In about twenty minutes, a woman walked into Sister Veronica’s office. “Marie would you come into my office, please?”
Marie fearfully walked into Sister Veronica’s office. “Marie, this is Dr. Gwen Henry, a cardiovascular surgeon. She’s my baby sister.”
Dr. Henry shook Marie’s hand. “Marie, I talked with Sister Veronica. She told me about your baby sister. Can you take me to where you live. I want to see your baby sister and meet your mother and father. I think I may have the kind of miracle your baby sister might need. Is this okay with you?”
“Sure!” Marie responded with a smile.
“May I come along?” asked Sister Veronica.
“Yes! Yes!” smiled Marie
Dr. Henry and Sister Veronica met with Marie’s sister and parents. Within days, little Cindy received the operation she needed with no charge. In a few weeks, Cindy went home to be with her big sister, Marie, and was doing well following the surgery.
Marie’s and Cindy’s parents discussed the boldness and love of Marie for her little sister as well as the events leading up to their youngest daughter’s operations. “Cindy’s surgery was a real miracle,” said the girls’ mother. “It had to be. What made Marie go to the hospital and do what she did if it was not a miracle?”
Marie smiled. For she knew where miracles came from…Saint Anthony Hospital, Sister Veronica, Dr. Gwen Henry…plus the faith of a little girl.
A miracle is NOT a result of extraordinary activities and events, but the operation of a higher, most loving authority…God. A God whose ways are strange to the intelligent and grown up but not to the innocence of a child!
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Amen, may the Lord help us all recapture the bold faith of a trusting child.