The other day, I spent a few hours sorting through files, papers and other mementoes. My favorites among them are the greeting cards my wife Jo Ann has given me in nearly 24 years as friends, fianc├ęs and - for the past 22 1/2 years - as husband and wife.

Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthday, Easter and Valentine's Day cards are there by the dozens; recyclables for anyone else, but precious to me. The single-most important part of that collection is a 3-by-4 1/2 inch piece of lined, message paper.

It is not adorned with decoration; just with a few words and numbers. One set of phone numbers belonged to a woman I called to find out about the dark-haired lovely that I had seen at St. Peter's Church. The importance of the phone number I sought was underscored just I underscored her name "Joann." (I had not yet learned how she spelled Jo Ann.)

Also on the paper are part of Jo Ann's address, her dad's name, Joe Veach, and the all-important phone number. I finally got up the nerve to call on April 28. By that September we were engaged and by the next September we were married.

That paper is a symbol of the beautiful beginning of a love that will never end.

Anyone else who saw that piece of yellow paper wouldn't give it a second look.

The same could be said of many people - including some regular churchgoers - who can look at a cross or crucifix without a second thought.

They live without the love symbolized and epitomized by Christ's death on the cross, a sacrifice that marked the death of death and the promise of love eternal.


Our lives must become symbols of God's love.