It all began in the spring of 1984. I had recently surrendered my life to the Lord and moved to a new town for a new start.
I found a good church and began going faithfully. Sherry and I caught each other's eye and began talking. Normally after the services the singles would go to a restaurant together, and Sherry asked if I was going. Regretfully, I said, I had ridden with another family and wouldn't be going. So she responded, "Well, you can ride with me."
It was interesting those first few hours together. I shared how I had rededicated my life to Jesus and had found real contentment in him. We agreed that we wanted to be friends. So, we would ride to church together from time to time and just be friends.
Then one day I received a card. Now I had received cards before, but this was the first time God's word was present. In included Scripture quotes, and the writing was anointed.
After getting Sherry's card I received one that especially touched my heart. "Your people shall be my people and your God will be my God and where you go I will be there with you" (Ruth 1:16).
I thought, WOW! No one has ever been willing to do that for me before.
Sherry taught me the value of writing a love note. Her cards are unique, in that she combines all of life's emotions with God's word and hand-drawn art. She had been creating cards with expressions of love most of her life. She has spoken into my heart with her cards and transformed me from years of inner hurts into someone who could feel love again.
Eventually, we fell deeply in love and were married.
So where are we now after 13 years of marriage?
Still in love.
Gloria Gaither, Dodie Osten and other well-known pastors' wives have thanked Sherry for the bundles of notes they received from her and passed on to their friends.
Then God did something extra special. A publisher said, "Let's take your notes and see if Christian bookstores all over the country would be willing to sell them."
So a few days ago Sherry's personal line of greeting cards was on debut at the Christian Booksellers Convention. Everyone loved them.
Then I was thinking, "I wonder if this is how St. Valentine's Day started," with little notes of love and encouragement that lead to an incredible day when we remember those we love.
If you have not sent that special someone a card, there is still time. You might even consider adding a passage of Scripture. You may even come across Sherry's line of cards this time next year and remember this little love story.
I hope that you wish your sweetheart a happy St. Valentine's Day, as I am wishing mine. Happy St. Valentine's Day, Sherry!
The Rev. Cesar Brooks is senior pastor of Maranatha Christian Center.