The Expected Miracle



     Sam Barnes was a good husband and a good father, but he had a serious problem—he would spend every night boozing with his friends.  Sometimes his two little daughters, Ada and Jane would go after him to bring him home.

     One bleak winter night, while the wind was sweeping fiercely along, the two little girls went out into the streets in search of their father.  They had made up their minds that night that they would not go to bed before their daddy was home.

     The fierce wind almost drove them back, but they tightly clasped each other’s hands, and, bending their little forms to meet the pressure of the cold, rushing air, they hurried on as fast as they could, along the dark and deserted streets.  At last they stopped before a tavern, over the door of which was a handsome gas-lamp, as well as a sign in large gilded letters.  It was a strange place for little girls to enter, and at such an hour, but, after standing for a moment, they pushed open the green door, and stepped into a large and brilliantly lighted room.

     “Well, now!” exclaimed a man who sat reading at a table.  “Here are those babes again.”

     The children stopped and looked at him hesitatingly.

     “Come here, my little girls,” the man signed to them to approach.

     “Are you looking for your daddy?” he asked.

     “Yes, sir.” Replied Ada, the older daughter.

     “Does your mother know you have come?”

     “Yes, sir.  She told us to go to bed, but we could not go until father returned; that’s why we came here first.”

     The children’s faces brightened when they heard that he was there.

     “He is at the other side of the room, asleep.  I will wake him for you.” the kind man said.

     It was not easy to arouse Mr. Barnes from his deep sleep.  However, as soon as he opened his eyes and found that his two lovely daughters had each grasped tightly one of his hands, he was moved to tears.

     “May God bless those little ones and give them a sober father and a happy home,” said the man who had helped them.  “I hope the prayers of these children and their mother will not be in vain; God may yet turn his heart.”

     The next evening, to the joy of the family, Mr. Barnes came home quite sober.  The miracle for which the family had been praying had happened.

     After dinner, while Ada and Jane were standing by him, he said in a low whisper.

     “You shall never again have to go out at night to bring me home.  There is a God in heaven who hears prayers.  He is giving me strength to abominate the habit of drinking.  I will never go to that cursed place again.”

     As the girl’s eyes, which were lifted to his face, seemed to indicate that they did not quite understand what he meant, he added.

     “God helping me, I will not drink anymore.  I will come home early and will always stay with you.”

     Now understanding what their father meant, the two little girls hid their faces in his lap and wept for joy.

     The prayers of the mother and the two little girls, the children’s love, and his trust in the power of God, saved Mr. Barnes from ruin and death through alcoholism.  He continued to ask God to help him in his endeavors to live a sober life; and erelong it was seen that he was a changed man.