I was seated on the left hand side of the cafeteria with some of my PFC friends the first time I saw her. I liked to sit in different sections of the room on different days. The left hand side was where the spiritually minded sat. The social club members were on the right. Others filled the middle. I had friends in all three sections but favored the hyper spiritual.
She entered the room with Steve Grimes, a friend of hers from Emmanuel College who had transferred to Lee with me the previous year. It was her first day and they paused on the entry landing to overview the scene. He was obviously giving her a social critique as they looked for fellow Emmanuel grads. She was erect, graceful, and dressed in an attractive outfit with classic styling. Her hair was dark brown, with loose curls, barely to her shoulders, her skin bronze. I thought she was Crystal, Steve’s girlfriend from Emmanuel who he had told me about and I thought he was a lucky guy.
I felt a little intrigued later that day when Steve told me she wasn’t Crystal, but I didn’t give her much thought beyond that, at least not until she walked into class a few days later. I was seated in the center row, three desks from the front talking with Beck Kalminer. Cheryl walked to the front of my row and asked, “Is this CE 301?” I looked up and asked her “is this what?”
I feigned a confused look. “CE what?”
“Is this Martin Baldree’s class, History and Philosophy of Christian Education?”
I laughed and said, “Yes, you’re in the right place.”
She sat down right in front of me, turned sideways in the chair, double crossed her legs, interrupted my conversation with Becky, and we began a life-long conversation. She is my pearl of great price, my partner in all things great and small. Other than my relationship with God there is nothing I cherish more than her. I am thankful God brought her into my life and gave us the grace to choose each other as life partners. It has been an honor to watch her expand her horizons in ministry and explore the “hundred acre woods” of God’s creation.
January 21, 2010