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Grace Diane Mundy

by Robert Docter – 

The Docter and Mundy families celebrated the advent of the holiday season with the addition of a priceless package of precious pulchritude. Grace Diane Mundy arrived just in time for Thanksgiving and brought immediate joy to her mother, Sharon, her father, Norman, and, within only a few moments, to her brother, Ryan, who, earlier, had wanted a brother. They, immediately, provided her with given names that contain two of the most beautiful words in the English language.

Grace paints her meanings with a broad brush.

Grace speaks of charm, of attractiveness, of ease of movement and refinement. In soft and gentle tones she expresses the hope of forthcoming promise. There is within her five simple letters a sense of becomingness—a feeling that the future holds something better than the present.

Grace is a gift of God. His favor showers us with his love even as he recognizes we are without merit to receive it. Our acceptance of his grace demands that we internalize the gift and reveal it in our relationship with others.

Grace reveals no narrow rigidity leading to harsh punishment. Instead, she promises leniency, pardon, mercy. Grace holds no animosity. Grace always reveals a kindliness of spirit, a gentleness of word, a balance and symmetry of action. Grace needs no false airs about her. She needs no roles to play. She is never a fake—always authentic—simply herself with a confident certainty about her saturated with optimistic reality.

Grace is a prayer of thanksgiving—a constant reminder of mankind’s humanity in the face of God’s never-ending charity. Grace is a sacrament of remembrance of the dimensions of God’s love for his creation.

And so, as the Thanksgiving weekend hovered nearby, God gave us the miracle of Grace Diane Mundy.

Don’t tell me we’re past the age of miracles—that they never happen anymore. They happen, but somehow we try to take the credit for them ourselves or label them “luck.”

Don’t tell me prayer doesn’t count. It does. I’ve experienced it. During Sharon’s pregnancy I worried about the baby—concerned about her health and well-being. I didn’t know her name until the day she was born, but each evening I prayed that the child would be complete in every way—and that she would be beautiful. I didn’t define any specific kind of beauty. I was willing to accept whatever definition God might choose to use.

Diane and I arrived at the hospital with our daughter Janet immediately after the birth. Norman, Sharon’s husband, met us as we walked down the hallway towards her room. His face glowed with a smile and a tear simultaneously evident. He said: “We have a beautiful little girl whose name is Grace Diane. She’s beautiful in every way.”

Immediately, his choice of words made the power and love of God more real in my life.

As we entered the room and looked at her, I imagined that God must have chosen to define “beauty” the same way I do. I’ve seen a lot of babies just after birth—and this one looked absolutely gorgeous with her big eyes and a tiny fringe of reddish blonde hair.

There’s a Greek goddess-like beauty as well in her middle name. It’s Diane, and with that name she joins quite a chorus of Dianes within our family. Sharon’s middle name is Diane—so is Kirsten’s, and so is Isabel’s, and now, so is Grace’s. Along with their great matriarch—my Diane, five Dianes now reveal the dimensions of their own autonomy and independence of spirit. That says something about the original, doesn’t it? Talk about your positive role models. My prayer for the following four and their sisters and cousins has always been that they might adopt in their own lives the character, the beauty, and the grace of my Diane.

So, my sweet little person full of grace, count on me to keep praying for you, depend on me always being close to you, know that you are important to every person in your large and noisy family—and that they are all praying for you.



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