Brock watched Nikki and her dog leave. When they had vanished through the trees, he turned back to the little bronze marker. This time he dropped to his knees. He pushed aside the carpet of petals and tall grass and traced the raised letters with his index finger.
"Your mommy knew what she was talking about when she named you, huh?" he whispered. "Mercy is when we don't get what we deserve. Grace is when we get what we don't deserve. I hurt your mommy really bad, and I hurt you. But I love you, Mercy Grace. Even though I never saw you. God taught me that." He caught his breath, knuckled away another tear. "I still love your mommy. I love her so much more, now."
He was supposed to go on to a job waiting for him in Kentucky, part of the reformation program he was involved in. Suddenly, that felt like the absolutely wrong thing to do. He thought for a moment, then headed for his rental car and the notebook holding all his important phone numbers. Open Doors, the prison ministry he had joined before he was assigned his bunk, had boarding houses and contacts here in northeast Ohio. Paul had told him to contact Mandy Gordon if he needed any help or needed to talk to someone. Maybe it wasn't a coincidence that she happened to live in Tabor Heights?
After all his close calls and the miracles that had allowed him to turn his life around, Brock was willing to believe in divine intervention, and didn't hesitate to pray for some right now.