Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. —1 Corinthians 16:13
October 19 is a big day in our family. This year, and for the second time in three years, Sheryl and I welcomed a grandchild into the extended Mercer clan. In 2017, Karsyn Hope White (number nine) was born into Lyndsey and Jason’s family on October 19. This year, August Brave Mercer (number 10) was born into Drew and Teagan’s household. Yep, exactly two years to the day later.
Red hair, blue eyes and chill are three instantly noticeable attributes of this striking young man. Red hair and blue eyes were a bit of a surprise, but chill? That’s certainly not normal around here.
August is the month that his parents met. It also describes someone whom the good people at Oxford describe as “respected and impressive.” Brave is, well, brave is brave. But in a jacked-up scary world, neither august nor brave will come easily for him.
By definition, bravery is “the willingness to face uncertainty or danger.” But it’s not natural to engage either uncertainty or danger without fear (i.e., I might be talked into being brave enough to stand my ground against an oncoming bear, but only if I’m holding a Remington 870). I’ve noticed that bravery is less a personal trait than it is a recognition of your resources. The initial question, then, might not be, “Will he live up to his middle name and be brave?” but, “Will he live up to his first name and trust his resources?” If he can do that, his first name will naturally flow into his middle name. During our first conversation, the one he and I shared the day he arrived, I promised him that I’d pray for him every day, believing it would work out that way. He seemed to appreciate that.
So, Sheryl and I are finally in double figures. We used to affectionately call this most recent generation of Mercers “The Elite Eight.” Karsyn showed up and they instantly became “The Gnarly Nine.”
Now they’re without a doubt, “The Top Ten”—five girls and five boys. Thanks to Auggie, once again, there is balance in the force.