BrainTeaser | Sherma E Benosa

Life is a puzzle; we are the clues, and God is the answer.

An Answer to a Prayer

Have you ever experienced things that you would dismiss as simply coincidence had you not been praying for them, and had your heart had not been so sure they were signs from up above?


I have had experienced this sort of thing several times before. And I experienced it again today.


When I purchased Paulo Coelho’s book, Like the Flowing River, a collection of his reflections, as a birthday gift for myself, my plan was to read it in one sitting. However, because I have been too busy, I eventually decided to read it in installment (about 5 to 15 pages at a time).


The book had been sitting on my desk for almost two weeks now, right next to my laptop. Sometimes, when I would pause from my writing, I would pick it up, and read a few pages, then do something else (either go back to my writing, or do other stuff).


Today, as I was feeling a bit down while writing something for work, having been reminded again of some of the unpleasant things that happened during the past weeks, I decided to take a pause, and prayed for God to help me to be strong.


After the prayer, I decided to read Coelho’s book. When I read what was on the page, a shiver ran through my spine, and my eyes became moist.


Let me share what I’ve read so you’d understand why.



“Who Would Like this Twenty Dollar Bill?”


Casan Said Amir tells the story of a lecturer who began a seminar by holding up a twenty dollar bill and asking: “Who would like this twenty-dollar bill?”


Several hands went up, but the lecturer said: “Before I give it to you, I have to do something.”


He screwed it up into a ball and said: “Who still wants this bill?”


The hands went up again.


“And what if I do this to it?”


He threw the crumpled bill up the wall, dropped it on the floor, insulted it, trampled on it, and once more showed them the bill — now all creased and dirty. He repeated the question, and the hands stayed up.


“Never forget this scene,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what I do to this money, it’s still a twenty-dollar bill. So often in our lives, we are crumpled, trampled, ill-treated, insulted, and yet, despite all that, we are still worth the same.”




Coelho, Paulo. 2006. Like the Flowing River. London: Harper Collins. p.192.



//Sherma E. Benosa

05 April 2008; 11:20am


14 comments on “An Answer to a Prayer

  1. Salve
    April 7, 2008

    Girl, pahiram ng book na to! I’m reading Coelho’s The Devil and Miss Prym right now. Exchange tayo pagkatapos ko. 😉

  2. Darla
    April 7, 2008

    Happy Birthday girl! yea I am probably late, but its the thought that counts 😯

    saw you on Lovewillbringustogether and Michelles and decided to to stop and visit….I will come back and read some more when I have time …. You are worth much to the Father, priceless, HIS princess!!

  3. VF
    April 7, 2008

    meaning, kahit kamutkamutin mo, kurutkurutin mo, nguyain mo ng tatlong araw ang mukha ko, pogi pa rin ako at ako pa rin ang mamahalin mo!


  4. VF
    April 7, 2008

    Ops, Salve, anong say mo?

  5. Salve
    April 7, 2008

    what are you trying to say, VF? na ikaw ang answer sa prayer ni ate jing-jing? 😀

    saka, sinong ngunguya sa face mo? tatlong araw pa ha!

  6. VF
    April 7, 2008

    i’m likening myself to the crumpled dollar: nguyain man ang lips ko, my “valeur” will remain, da-seym-pogi na nagmamahal kay ate mo Jheng-jeng hehehe!

    alam mo ba that I even tried to announce my love to her in public sa baywalk?

    takot lang nia! hak hak hak

    yang ‘nguyain’ thing, got it from my fave movie star, si claudine hehehe!

  7. Michelle
    April 7, 2008

    Thank you for the illustration from Coelho’s book…I struggle with feelings of worthlessness that are deeply engrained from childhood. I needed to read, “we are crumpled, trampled, ill-treated, insulted, and yet, despite all that, we are still worth the same.”

    Thank you, Sherma. Blessings to you ~Michelle.

  8. aart
    April 7, 2008


    I’m a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He’s the first best-selling
    author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:

    Have a nice day!


  9. foobarph
    April 7, 2008

    ah yes, another bookworm girl. nice. ^^

  10. brainteaser
    April 8, 2008

    So I’m the only one who ain’t here yet! Hey, hey hey! Morning friends! 🙂 Welcome to my humble abode. Do come in!

    VF! How can you be so “kaloka,” my sweet? Ngayon lang ako nakarinig ng mukhang nginunguya. Like your idol, you are also kaloka sa kakornihan! Hahahaha!

    SALVE! Hahahahaa! Kaloka, galing mong sumagot, friend. Super tawa ako nang mabasa ko mga sagutan ninyo! Wahahaaha!

    Hello DARLA! Welcome, my friend. I am so happy you could “come” to the Philippines! Haha. Yes, I’ve seen you there also and I was saying, oh, aren’t they a community. A close-knit one. Thank you, thank you.

    Hello MICHELLE. I am glad that I did. It did make me feel a lot better when I read it. I thought that maybe, it can do the same to others. I hope you are well, friend.

    AART! Welcome! Ah, I love Paulo Coehlo. There are still books of his that I haven’t read yet, but I will definitely buy and devour them. He’s so insightful.

    FOOBARPH. How are you? Ah, yes. Being bookworm is a nice thing. I am reading Khalil Gibran’s “A Treasury of Wisdom” right now. How about you?

    To my old friends who are here (VF and Salve), love you always. To my new friends, warm welcome! Thank you for your insights! 🙂

  11. lovewillbringustogether
    April 8, 2008

    Hi Brainy and Good morning 😉

    You are a most worthy member of our small community!
    I hoped that by linking you onto my blog that others might be able to see even more of God through your own eyes and words – in ways that may not be exactly what those others are used to, but who can see how widespread is God’s Wisdom and Love – wherever we might be on the globe 🙂

    Endeavouring to help spread ‘The Word’,

    love <B

  12. sarah flanigan
    April 8, 2008

    beautiful – wonderful point and so true. i think that we are like magnets – we pull to ourselves the things we need, when we need them. just as you did with this wonderful book.

  13. brainteaser
    April 10, 2008

    Hello lovewillbringustogether! Thank you so much. I’ve been to the ladies’ blogs and I’ve learned a lot from them. Indeed, it’s a great community. Thanks for linking me. 🙂

    Hello Sarah! It’s been a long time. I was just starting here at wordpress when I stumbled into your blog, and I got deeply impressed with your poetry.

    You put it so well when you said we pull to ourselves the things we need. It’s amazing how it happens, right? I’m sure there is an invisible hand guiding us.

    Take care, friends! THANK YOU always.

  14. Jeff Goins
    September 16, 2008

    I loved Coehlo’s the Alchemist. Have you read it?

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