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Grace in an Unusual Place

By Cathy Irvin
Staff Writer - Recently, I went into an imports store with my great-granddaughter Destiny, who is 2 years old. I told her to sit in her stroller because there were pretty things that might break. Did I think she understood? Not really, but I thought I could keep my eyes on everything, including those little hands. At any moment they might reach out to touch the pretty colored, fragile items sitting on shelves near her eye level.

I stopped to check something up high. It was a bottle with a drinking glass used as the top. As I reached for it, the one beside it fell off the shelf and the glass top smashed to the floor. Destiny began to draw attention to me by repeatedly saying "Gi-Gi broke, Gi-Gi broke."

I decided that I should buy the bottle with the broken top. A saleslady came over and said, You certainly do not have to pay for this. It was an accident.

I was startled at her statement but I said, Ok, but I will buy one anyway. Again she said, That is not necessary. I am glad that neither of you were cut. I smiled and asked her to take the bottle to the counter so I could continue to shop.

Destiny saw some small pink glass balls that were now at her eye level. She calls them "baws" so I showed her one from the package. I told her to hold out her hand. With my hands around hers, she could feel it was not a rubber ball but a glass ball that might break. I thought that I was smart by teaching her about the feel of glass. She handed it back carefully and I opened the package to place it inside.

She grabbed another one and it fell to the floor. She cupped her hand over her mouth and pointed to it and said, "Broke." I told her, Yes, but this time "Destiny broke." I was going to get the lady and noticed no one came running to the rescue. I picked out three more items and went to the register with my purchases. I told the lady I needed to leave now before anything else happened.

The two sales girls smiled, waved their hands, and said, Don't worry about this. It's nothing. They told me how glad they were to see such a cute little girl and that she was just adorable. I felt good in spite of a disastrous shopping adventure.

I realized God was showing me that sometimes when we mess up and don't always do everything right that He just smiles and says, Child, it's ok. I will just sprinkle a little grace on the situation this time.

II Corinthians 12:9 says,

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Some stores have a motto, You break it, you buy it," so I felt like I had really received God's grace in the department store. I was able to purchase what I wanted not what I had to buy. I will shop there again because of their kindness. Maybe next time I will go by myself and pray that I don't drop anything.

Can you picture heaven like a department store? It's full of mercy and grace, and it is free.

Ephesians 1:6 says, to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

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