As an answer to prayer when I was very ill, God surprised me with a peppermint tea miracle.
This story was previously published in Virtue magazine and in the book Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul.
I lay on the couch, hunched into a ball, hands on my nauseated stomach. Influenza had hit me hard, and I was unable to keep up with my sixteen-month-old, Tyler. When he wasn’t racing around, he was crawling all over me. My poor body ached. I yearned to be left alone, so I could crawl into bed.
Fortunately my husband, Gordy came home to help, so I was able to escape to bed without worrying about Tyler. But the next morning when I awoke to my toddler’s crying, Gordy had already left for work, and I still felt horrible. As I lay there, I turned to God. ”Lord, I just can’t make it today without you. You will have to take charge of my home today—please help me keep Tyler safe!”
After Tyler and I had been up for a few hours, I felt a bit better. It was a beautiful, sunny day. My son begged to go “Owside! Owside!” I finally relented and put him in his stroller, hoping the fresh air would revive me.
We headed up the hill, but after a few blocks I turned around, lacking energy to go any farther. I must have been a pitiful sight—crouched over the stroller as it supported my weight. On our way past one neighbor’s house, she cracked open her door and leaned out.
“Are you okay? You don’t look well.”
Feeling dizzy, I looked at Helen, gave a weak smile and replied, “Oh, it’s just a flu bug. I thought I was getting over it, but I’ll be okay. Thanks for asking.”
“I’ve heard that flu is going around—hope you feel better soon.”
As I continued down the hill, my thoughts wandered back to Helen and her husband, who had recently moved to our little town to retire. My heart reached out to them. They seemed lonely and bored.
Only three years before, Gordy and I had been the newcomers. Thankfully, we had immediately begun attending an intimate local church and had also made new friends by getting involved in community activities. Bill and Helen seemed pretty isolated. Already, I heard, they were putting their home up for sale, hoping to return to the city.
As the stroller bumped and jerked on our gravel driveway, I steadied it with one hand and felt my forehead with the other. Hot. My brain felt foggy. Thank goodness we were home.
I lugged Tyler—who seemed twenty pounds heavier—up the stairs and thought again of Helen and Bill. God must have sent them here for a reason. Was there a way I could reach out to them, to make them feel more welcome?
After I had collapsed on the couch, Tyler and I watched television and read stories for a while. My stomach cramped and ached terribly. What in the world would help?
Suddenly I remembered that I’d heard something, somewhere, about how peppermint tea soothed the stomach. I knew I didn’t have any in the cupboard, so I decided to go to the store. Yet as I grabbed my purse, I realized I felt too ill to drive anywhere. Oh well, I thought, I don’t know if the tea will actually help anyway.
As I stood there, halfway to the door, keys in hand, the doorbell rang. Who could that be? I thought. I sure wasn’t up for entertaining. Hesitantly I opened the door, to find Bill, Helen’s husband.
“Helen wanted me to give you this,” he said, as he handed me a small, colorful bag, “because you’re not feeling well.” I smiled, then opened the bag.
“Oh!” For a moment I was speechless. Inside were some balloons, cookies, and of all things—peppermint tea! I stood staring at it in amazement.
“Thank you! You may not believe this, but only moments ago I wanted some of this exact kind of tea. I just felt too sick to go to the store to buy some. God must have used you two to answer my prayers today. Give Helen my thanks, will you?”
After goodbyes, I put on the teakettle, then blew up a few balloons. Tyler was soon occupied and giggling. I watched him as I relaxed in the recliner, sipping my tea. Within minutes it soothed my stomach as nothing else had. We even shared the freshly baked cookies.
In the months that followed, as Tyler and I would be out strolling, Helen would often see us through her window and urge us to come inside for a visit. Cradling warm drinks in our hands, we sometimes talked of the graciousness of God. And we often reminisced about the day He prompted her to send me a simple, yet perfectly timed, gift of peppermint tea.
This article was previously published as A Peppermint-Tea Miracle in Chicken Soup for the Tea Lover’s Soul (2007) with Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Patricia Lorenz. In 1988 the story was first published in Virtue magazine. The little boy in this true story grew up to become a U.S. Naval Officer.
Peppermint Tea Health Benefits
© Laurie Winslow Sargent. Laurie edits Finding God Daily, and is an author/contributor and magazine article writer. She blogs for parents at ParentingByFaith.com and for writers at SellYourNonfiction.com. Join her on Twitter as @LaurieSargent.