Grace, I disliked my name when I was a child. The name meant that I was cursed to love people I didn’t like, look over what bothered me, and be friends with those who hurt me. The name felt like a big job, a job I didn’t want.
I was at a coffee shop years ago. It wasn’t busy inside and the outside drive-thru was dead at six-thirty pm on a Saturday night in June. I ordered a classic white mocha and waited by the Pickup order sign. Fifteen minutes passed and there was no classic white mocha in sight. I tried to make an excuse as to why three employees were huddled together in a corner chatting. I could find none.
I was rarely assertive in those days even when the time called for it — I tended to let everyday annoyances flood my thoughts. My foot tapped restlessly. I re-focused my discomfort from my foot to a painting on the wall. It was patterned abstractly with hues of bright yellows and calm blues. After I took in another five minutes of wait time, I was ready to reveal my frustration to the baristas. Before I muttered a word I heard, “White Mocha for Grace.”
Grace, the sound of the word cleared away my maddening displeasure. I smiled at the barista in her black apron and took my latte without a word. The word Grace means:
- A virtue coming from God
The name has many meanings. For me, it was once a curse that is now a precious reminder to care for others. I am Grace.