$49 Brownie

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In 1956, when I was 7 years old, I wanted to become a Brownie (Girl Scout) like my best friend. But money was tight. My dad had to work two jobs, and my mother worked at night.

Having gone without during the Great Depression, my parents didn’t want to deny me anything. But when I asked if I could join the Brownie group, my mother said, “You are in too many activities already. Neither one of us can afford one more involvement.” Undaunted, I begged, “May I join if I come up with the money myself?”

My mom went over the list of supplies and clothing I would need. She added up the cost of uniforms, blouses, socks, a beret, a sweater, shoes, a coat, a handbook, pins, badges, books and a year of dues. She was hoping I’d be discouraged by the grand total of $49, but I wasn’t.

I needed the money within two weeks to meet the deadline. But how could a 7-year-old girl come up with $49 in 1956?

The only way I knew was to ask God for it! As a Roman Catholic, I was taught to pray to Mary, the mother of Jesus, or the saints. “Don’t bother Jesus unless it is absolutely necessary,” my teachers said.

Well, I felt this was absolutely necessary and somehow, I didn’t think it was a bother to God. So with childlike faith, I prayed: “Please God, may I have $49 to join the Brownies? Thank You. Amen.”

The following day when I was playing outside my house, a car suddenly turned into my small street and forced me onto the sidewalk. After the car sped away, I saw money falling from the sky and blowing all over the street. Dollar bills were everywhere!

My two friends and I began grabbing the money out of the air and off the ground. We stuffed every last dollar into our pockets and ran home to our moms.

I shouted and giggled, “God gave me the money to become a Brownie!” Yes, it was exactly $49!

What really happened that day isn’t clear. But today, as an associate pastor of a charismatic church, I must believe God for much more than $49. The supernatural answer I received to my prayer as a child was foundational to the faith I have today.

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