He was 23 years old and had already graduated from college when, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I met him. His childhood had been unusual. When he was four his mom died; when he was twelve his dad died. For awhile he lived with the Schultz family, helping with their dairy production, arising very early to milk the cows and then deliver chilled milk to neighbors. Other times he lived with this relative, then that one, always seeming out of place, not ever feeling at home.
By the time I met Jerry, despite his ragged start in life, he had proved his mettle, and was an impressive young man. So…I married him. Today I want to write a few words to honor him.
Last week was significant; for one thing Thursday was Jerry’s 77th birthday, but we were all so frazzled, what with wondering about the overdue carpet and with last minute preparation for the special services, that we didn’t properly celebrate that significant day. We were running around like the proverbial chicken.., but finally in the evening, in our work clothes, we gathered at a little Mexican restaurant we like…so late in the day were we that they locked the door and stuck up the closed sign before we had finished eating. But they knew it was his birthday, so at the end of the meal they brought a birthday “cake,” a beautifully formed and cooked flour tortilla filled with fried ice-cream, topped with a bright red cherry. A candle flared in the middle, and with one sure breath, Jerry blew away the flame.
Jerry is a man of strength and of rare passion. Judge for yourself. Two years ago, just prior to his 75th birthday, he made the decision to roust himself from a well-deserved retirement and come to Lake Havasu, with the intent of here establishing a church. He has been wildly successful; reaching milestones, performing feats, and attaining results that extend far beyond the norm for such a project. He is amazing.
There is something about true men of God that is inexplicable and mystifying. Something about them can’t quite be comprehended nor fully analyzed, and although Jerry is certainly human (ask me about that sometime 🙂 ) his passion and anointing are undeniable and almost palpable.
Today I honor you, Jerry, and wish you a belated happy 77th birthday.