Who would have thought that prayers come true?
Now will we feel happy, or excessively blue?
What happened next knocked them both for a loop. For days and days, Guiseppe had kept on praying and pacing around and hoping and believing that God would answer his prayers. Nothing happened. (He would, of course, have played the lottery to help God out, if that had been invented, but alas, it hadn't been thought of yet. Of course, even if it had existed, he had no money left to play anyway.)
However, no matter how tired he was, how cold the wind, or how late the hour, before he went to bed at night, he always went out into his little garden to visit the small shrine he had built years before. There, He would light a candle and kneel down in prayer. "Oh God," he prayed out loud each night, "Send me a million dollars so I can help people. Let me find the true meaning of giving. Let me serve others. Amen."
"Come to bed, Guiseppe. It is late and you are tired. You will catch your death out there in this cold." Guilda called out to him.
"Oh, all right," answered Guiseppe. "It seems like there is an 'out to lunch' sign on His desk when I pray anyway. I will be right there."
No sooner had he crawled beneath the goose down comforter and snuggled up to Guilda than they heard the most awful rattling and clanking of wheels and the clattering of horses' hooves on the cobblestone streets outside. It sounded like the cavalry had arrived. They jumped out of bed and ran to the front room window. Outside, parked right under their sign, was an ancient ox cart, driven by an even more ancient old gentleman. He was tall, thin as a piccolo, and wore a purple waistcoat, pale pink shirt, royal blue pants, and gleaming black boots. On his head, he wore a crimson, three cornered hat with a feather sticking out at a rakish angle. His face was weather beaten and lined with wrinkles, and his shoulders stooped from age, but his clear blue eyes twinkled with joy and friendship.
"Your prayers have been heard," he said solemnly. "Here is the first installment on your request. Expect me each night when the clock strikes the midnight hour until the whole delivery is completed."
At that, he leaped down from the cart, with the agility of a much younger man and hauled out a large bag which he handed to Guiseppe. Guiseppe nearly fell down struggling with the weight of it. "Take it inside and tell no one from whence it came," admonished their ancient visitor.
"Who are you? What are you? What is your name?" Guiseppe fired questions at his mysterious midnight caller.
"My name is Michael. Think of me as merely the delivery boy." He smiled at Guiseppe.
"Michael? That's an angel's name. Are you an angel?" Guiseppe asked excitedly.
"Some have called me that," the old man admitted.
"You do not look like an angel. You look sort of, well, tired and worn out," Guiseppe could not help observing.
"You would look all tuckered out too if you had done this as long as I have" the angel replied dryly.
"You mean, you have delivered a million dollars to other people?" marveled Guiseppe.
Michael just smiled and put his first finger up to his lips to indicate they were sealed in secrecy. Then doffing his hat, he turned around, climbed back up into the ox cart, and drove away, seemingly swallowed up by the night. He had disappeared from sight before reaching the distant clump of trees.
They hurried into the house carrying the bag between them. Once inside, they pulled the drapes over the windows and lit a candle to see what was inside. Guiseppe opened up the bag and gold coins poured out. Lots and lots of gold coins poured out, and rolled noisily all over the floor.
Hastily, he gathered them up and began to count. He lost track of where he was in his excitement, and had to start all over again. Actually, he had to make several attempts because the coins kept slipping out of his nervous fingers. When at long last, he finally finished, he looked up at Guilda and whispered, "$50,000. We have here $50,000 in gold coins!"
"Is that a down payment on the million or what?" she wondered out loud.
"Who knows, but I never doubted for an instant that God would hear me" he assured her brightly. "Now, we had best bury this in the back yard for safe keeping," he said. They carefully put all the coins back into the bag, closed it up again and carried it out to the back yard.
By this time, it was far too late at night to dig a hole in the ground. They feared the Widow Florence or the other neighbors would hear the noise and send for the constable. So, they put the heavy bag into the fruit cellar behind the casks of apples and potatoes they had stored there, and closed the door. As they crawled into bed, Guiseppe hugged Guilda and assured her, "Now, you will see how much good we can do for people. Our troubles are over!"
"I just hope I get a new dress out of it," she thought, but was afraid to say it lest she appear ungrateful or worse, unspiritual.
Every night after that for nineteen more nights, a similar ritual occurred. The same ancient man with the crimson hat driving the same ancient ox cart pulled up in front of their door about midnight, and each night, he handed them a large, heavy bag and admonished them to tell no one about it. "Tell no one about my deliveries. You will rue the day if anyone finds out about this," he cautioned them night after night before departing.
They promised him and each other, "Mum's the word. Our lips are sealed." By this time, the fruit cellar was full to over flowing, and there was scarcely room left for the apples and potatoes.
Even though Guiseppe had never been much of a math scholar in school (maybe because math books hadn't been invented yet either), he made many little marks on the front room wall, and finally when the wall was totally covered with marks, he calculated that 20 nights at $50,000 a night equaled ONE MILLION DOLLARS.
"Guilda! This is wonderful! My prayers are answered. Now, I can get to work helping people big time," he whooped, grabbing his wife and dancing with her in a little jig around the room.
"Perhaps I can quit being a short order cook and scullery maid," thought his long suffering wife. Returning his embrace, she said aloud, "Well, we had better get to bed. You will need your rest if you plan to start saving the world. And, you'll have to paint over the scratches on that wall so no one will suspect what it is." As they crawled beneath the covers, and finally drifted off to sleep to dream of their respective plans for the money, neither of them had the slightest idea of how their lives were about to change in the very near future.
To be continued....
Lenny and Jan Antonsson
17178 Highway 59, Neosho, MO 64850 (Snail Mail)
Forward to The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter One
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Two
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Three
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Five
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Six
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Seven
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Eight
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Nine
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Ten
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Eleven
The Man Who Asked God For A Million Dollars, Chapter Twelve
The Glory Road
We always enjoy hearing from you!
This site was created on 06/13/10
by Jan Antonsson, Webmeister