Mickie Martin is a smiler; she smiles constantly as she’s talking. And if you’ve found yourself driving along Colbert Avenue in Sherman between 6:45 and 8:05 a.m. on a recent weekday, chances are she’s smiled at you.

Mickie Martin is a smiler; she smiles constantly as she’s talking. And if you’ve found yourself driving along Colbert Avenue in Sherman between 6:45 and 8:05 a.m. on a recent weekday, chances are she’s smiled at you.


For the past 14 weeks, Martin has hunkered down next to a stop sign at the intersection of Colbert and Chaffin Street, sitting and holding — not waiving, just holding — simple religious signs for the consumption of the caravan of parents and students arriving at Sherman High School.


To ask Martin why she chooses to spend her mornings on a metal chair somewhat misses the point: Mickie Martin said she didn’t choose this endeavor any more than Noah chose the ark.


"The Lord sometimes inspires us, and this summer, I just felt that calling that the Lord was speaking to me to somehow reach the young people in our community," said Martin at her home Wednesday. "We were at (Fairview Baptist) Church and we got to the benediction — the old song ‘Wherever He Leads, I’ll Go’ — and Pastor James said, ‘If you’re not willing to do that, you shouldn’t sing the song.’ And I was like, ‘Okay, I guess I’m willing; I don’t really want to go to Africa.’"


Martin said she was inspired with the phrase "Jesus Loves You" for her first sign, which she made at home and brought to the school for the first time on Aug. 26. Reactions, she said, have been almost entirely positive.


"People were kind of like, ‘Oh, I’m not sure who she is, probably just some crazy lady.’ But the kids would walk by and I just said, ‘Morning,’ or, ‘Hi, hello,’" always with a smile.


Before long, people were bringing coffee, doughnuts, hot chocolate and other gifts to Martin as she kept watch.


"I had two young girls who would come by and they made their own signs, and they had them out their windows. … It said ‘We love you too!’


Mickie Martin, a married mother of three, seems to have acquired groupies.


"It’s not about me, it’s never been about me," she explained. "I call it the Jesus loves you campaign. So many of our young people — and adults — we’ve gotten to the point where the only time we hear the Lord’s name is in vain. So that’s why I did it, just to let these kids know that he is still out there and he is what we’re supposed to be looking for."


Martin has changed the text on her sign four times, most recently to a Thanksgiving-centric message.


"’Be Grateful’ was for Thanksgiving. And I was thinking, ‘I wish they would remember they need to show gratitude for what they have; for their parents.’ And I want the adults to think about it too. (Before coming up with the message) I didn’t know really what I was going to do. I thought I could do some little cute something, just to let them know I’m a normal person and not always this Jesus-crazy lady."


Martin says she was originally inspired to continue her campaign for three weeks, but a steady flow of inspiration keeps her coming back.


"(God’s) like, ‘Give me three weeks,’ and then it just felt like, ‘You did it. See? You can do this,’" she said. "I’m not an early morning bird, and as my girls will tell you, I’m not heavy on commitment. But there’s never been a day that I’ve been like, ‘Oh my goodness, not today.’ And I have been ill a couple of times, but I’ve been able to muster up, persevere, come home and then go back to bed. It just hasn’t stopped."


Martin has kept a running diary of meaningful interactions from the corner. As she sat at her kitchen table explaining her reasoning on Wednesday, one story in particular seemed to exemplify what she sees as her impact.


"October the ninth, there’s a young boy that walks, and he came by and said, ‘You’re still here!’ and I said, ‘I’m still here.’ Then this last Monday, he came by again and he’s all in his hoodie and everything and he’s like, ‘You’re still here." And I said, ‘I’m still here.’"


Martin paused before continuing: "I’m sure consistency is not something that happens in a lot of our homes sometimes. But only God knows."


Fourteen weeks into her divinely inspired project, Mickie Martin is still on the corner of Colbert and Chaffin every morning — still smiling.