Amy Wells knew her bridal shop would be busy. Brides-to-be took full advantage of the days right after Thanksgiving. It was common for families to spend the better part of the holiday weekend looking at wedding dresses in her San Antonio, Texas, store. Amy was prepared to give service to shoppers. She never expected to give grace to a dying man.
Across town Jack Autry was in the hospital, struggling to stay alive. He was in the final stages of cancer. He had collapsed two days before and had been rushed to the emergency room. His extended family was in town not just to celebrate Thanksgiving together but to make preparations for his daughter’s wedding. Chrysalis was only months from marriage. The women in the family had planned to spend the day selecting a wedding gown. But now with Jack in the hospital, Chrysalis didn’t want to go.
Jack insisted. After much persuasion Chrysalis, her mother, her future mother-in-law, and her sisters went to the bridal salon. The shop owner noticed the women were a bit subdued, but she assumed this was just a quiet family. She helped Chrysalis try on dress after dress until she found an ivory duchess silk and satin gown that everyone loved. Jack was fond of calling Chrysalis his princess, and the dress, Chrysalis commented, made her look just like one.
That’s when Amy heard about Jack.
Because of the cancer, he couldn’t come see his daughter in her dress. And because of the medical bills, the family couldn’t buy the dress yet. It appeared that Jack Autry would die without seeing his daughter dressed as a bride.
Amy would hear nothing of it. She told Chrysalis to take the gown and veil to the hospital and wear it for her daddy. Amy says, “I knew it was fine. There was no doubt in my mind to do this. God was talking to me.” No credit card was requested or given. Amy didn’t even make note of a phone number. She urged the family to go directly to the hospital. Chrysalis didn’t have to be told twice.
When she arrived at her father’s room, he was heavily medicated and asleep. As family members woke him, the doors to the room slowly opened, and there he saw his daughter, engulfed in fifteen yards of layered, billowing silk. He was able to stay alert for about twenty seconds.
“But those twenty seconds were magical,” Chrysalis remembers. “My daddy saw me walk in wearing the most beautiful dress. He was really weak. He smiled and just kept looking at me. I held his hand, and he held mine. I asked him if I looked like a princess… He nodded. He looked at me a little more, and it almost looked like he was about to cry. And then he went to sleep.”
Three days later he died.
Chrysalis and her family couldn’t afford to give Jack one last vision of his daughter dressed as a princess. Yet thanks to Amy’s generosity, they grew rich in a moment of abundant, cascading grace. God to Amy to Chrysalis to Jack. Isn’t this how grace works?
Isn’t this how God works? He starts the process. He doesn’t just love; He lavishes us with love (1 John 3:1). He doesn’t dole out wisdom; He “gives generously to all without finding fault” (James 1:5). He is rich in “kindness, tolerance and patience” (Romans 2:4). His grace is “exceedingly abundant” (1 Timothy 1:14) and “indescribable” (2 Corinthians 9:14–15).
When God gives, He dances for joy. He loves to give.
God doesn’t just love; He lavishes us with love.
God dispenses His goodness not with an eyedropper but a fire hydrant. Your heart is a Dixie cup, and His grace is the Mediterranean Sea. You simply can’t contain it all. So let it bubble over. Spill out. Pour forth. And enjoy the flood.
It is the Lord’s unending flow of grace that allows Him to give so completely and to keep on giving. When we accept His grace, we also link to His everlasting supply. Our reaction should be to give in turn to others—our time, our money, our things, our wisdom, our love.
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Have you received God’s lavish love? Have you received His grace? Pause and thank Him now for the limitless goodness that cannot be contained and ask Him to show you how to extend that relentless love to others. Please leave a comment on our blog. We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily