Beliefnet
Reprinted with permission from the website of Joan Wester Anderson.

Brother Leo Keigher, who has worked with the poor all over the world, remembers a little Guatemalan girl named Delilah. "She was about eight or nine when I knew her, and a very spiritual child," says Brother Leo, "and would never have told me anything but the absolute truth." Once Delilah came to him to report on a wondrous event that had just occurred.

Delilah was the oldest of several children whose father had deserted them. The family lived in a small shanty with one bed and a table and chairs as their only furniture. Their ingenious mother supported them by making lunches, which she then took to nearby factories and sold to the workers there. While her mother was gone, Delilah or one of the neighbors would watch the younger children. "After my mother sells all the lunches, she has enough money to buy food for the next day's lunches, and the beans for our supper that night," Delilah once explained to Brother Leo.

The system was working very well, and one day as Delilah's mother loaded up her cart to make the trip to town, she called to Delilah. "Today I have left beans simmering for our supper in the fireplace," she told her daughter.

"So early?" Delilah asked.

"I have chores to do in town after I sell the lunches," her mother explained. "I won't be back right away. But you know how to stir the beans so they won't stick to the kettle."

Delilah nodded. She had done it a few times. She was a little afraid of the open fire, but she had never let her mother know. "And you will keep the little ones away from the flames so that no one gets hurt," her mother instructed.

"Yes, Mother." Delilah watched as her mother, pulling the cart, walked down the dusty road towards town. Then she took the children out to play.

As time passed, Delilah looked into the shanty several times, and began to grow concerned. The flames seemed to be getting higher, and the beans were bubbling faster and faster. Standing on her tiptoes, Delilah stirred the mixture, but she didn't know how to make it calm down, the way her mother could. She went to the door, to watch the children. Just then, she heard a WHAM! Then another. She whirled. Oh, no! The pot had cracked, once, twice---no, many times---and beans were running down onto the fire, on the walls, across the floor. More beans flew into the room, coating the bed and table...The fire sizzled, filling the little hut with smoke. It was a mess! And there was nothing left for dinner.

"Oh, dear God," Delilah went out and fell on her knees. "What am I going to do? Because of me, our only kettle, and our supper, is ruined. My mother is going to be so angry. Please help me."

She looked up. There was her mother, hurrying down the road toward them. Delilah grabbed the children, brought them into the shanty, pushed them under the bed and slid in next to them. "Why are we under the bed?" her youngest sister asked. "It's dark in here!"

"Delilah! Where is everyone?" Her mother called as she came into the hut.

"We're under the bed," Delilah answered, dreading her mother's scream as she saw the ruined mess all over the room.

"Under the bed? Well, come out! The beans will be ready in just a few minutes, and you can have your supper."

The beans? What was wrong with her mother's eyesight? Hadn't she seen the pot, split in pieces, the liquid everywhere? Slowly Delilah crawled out from under the bed, her eyes riveted on the fireplace. There was the pot, intact, hanging from the hook like it always did. Inside were the beans, looking like they always did, filling the family's humble home with fragrance? Supper was indeed ready.

Delilah never hesitated to ask God for miracles--large and small--after that. She had learned that nothing was too little for Him to care about. Not even beans.

_Related Features

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus