FENTON, MI – Valentine's Day is approaching, and lovers of all ages are looking for just the right way to express their feelings. I received my best Valentine's Day gift my senior year of high school. Newspaper class was interrupted when fellow students entered the class with a Singing Valentine to the tune of "O My Darling Clementine."
O Mike Durbin, O Mike Durbin
Will you be my Valentine?
You are sweet, so warm and tender
Will you be my Valentine?
My face turned bright red, I'm sure, as my lifelong curse of blushing took over. They sang (actually it was more reading than singing) and left without a word about who it was from. I spent the rest of the day in suspense. Who would do such a thing? I'd look at a cute girl and think, "Was it her?" Everyone was suspect. I knew who I wanted it to be. I hoped it wasn't Mom. It wasn't until the end of the day on the bus ride home that I found out who it was.
I was sitting with a young lady from that Newspaper class, and she asked if I knew who sent me the Singing Valentine. "No," I responded, secretly hoping it was her. We talked for a few minutes until I mustered enough courage to ask, "Was it you?" We'd been sitting together on the bus since the start of the school year. Those moments on the way to and from school were my favorite parts of the day. We were in the same grade, had gone to the same Middle School and High School, but didn't really meet each other until we ended up on the same bus our Senior year.
She says that when I got on the bus that first day I looked like I was mad at the world. Catching the bus at six something in the morning will do that to a guy. Just saying! She felt an inner nudge to talk to me, but got scared and didn't (not bugging the angry guy sounds pretty smart to me). She overcame her fear and the next day when I got on the bus by slapping the seat beside her and said, "You can sit here."
We spent hours talking. She even asked me out. Well, sort of. A bunch of people were getting together at a basketball game and going sledding afterward. She asked if I wanted to go. I did, and it was one of the most enjoyable nights of my life despite a flat tire and a lost toboggan.
One night we were at a school function together and she offered to give me a ride home. On the way home, she took a little detour because she wanted to tell me something. She pulled into the parking lot of an elementary school near our homes and said, "I think the world of you" and some other very kind things.
I wrote her a letter the next day in my English class. It was a step up from: I like you. Do you like me? Circle yes or no, but not much. She had the same teacher the next hour so I asked the teacher to give it to her when she got to class. It worked. She accepted my invitation to go out. It could have worked earlier, but I'm a little slow. I missed hints, fumbled, and bumbled, but I married my high school sweetheart and Shar will always be My Valentine.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.