Single. 25. A poor seminarian. Living with my parents. Embarrassing. Slipping a little deeper into debt each month. Disconcerting.

A gracious, anonymous soul paid my way to a missions conference in spirit-lifting Glorieta, New Mexico. Two-thousand plus missionaries & mission-hearted made the registration log a global address book. A glimpse of heaven.

Monday afternoon missions fair. Missionaries with colorful displays visiting with the mission-hearted. Enthusiasm airborne. Smiles lighting the room.

One smile outshone the rest. Bespoken in a sweet southern style with a playful spirit. In scrubs. Taking blood pressures. A missionary nurse. Bouncy, brown hair. Joy-abounding, blue eyes. I nudged a buddy, "I'm going to get my blood pressure checked."

She had a line. No one else did. She did. Was it the blood pressure service? Was it something else? I waited. Nervous. I talked. Gabbed with passersby. Befriended line-mates. Nerves & words go together for me. Then... it was my turn.

She spoke. "What are you doing stealing everyone in my line?" Knew I liked her. Straightforward with a strong dash of ornery. Don't know what I said in reply. Gone dumb.

She touched ME... heart palpitations... to take MY blood pressure... breathe, man, breathe. Acapella the Gaithers with full concert-going-crowd began to sing richly, with feeling, "She touched me, ooooooooh, she touched, and ooooooh, the joy that filled my soooooooo-oul."

Think... be cool... breathe... hearts beating out of my chest... she's touching me-eeee... oh no, if she takes my pulse... I'm busted... it might be kinda high.

"What are you, dead? Your pulse is 48." Thank you, Jesus, for a strong heart. Now, Lord Jesus, about this young-lady...

Got the nerve to ask her to share a meal. Was rejected. She had plans. Got the word that I could come too. Was elated. She was with me. Or I with her. But we were going to spend time together. That night. And I prayed forever.

Returned to my detail-awaiting roommie hours later. Mind abuzz, but only one thing to say, "I'm gonna marry this girl."

Thank you, Father, for the ever-amazing gift of Melanie.

Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Proverbs 31:29

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another. Romans 13:8 

One day can change a life.

One life can change another.