It Takes an Earl

I first blogged this in December of 2016. It seems a fitting re-blog as Earl has left the house and has entered into his aimed for Heaven, his beloved wife Helen awaiting, and the Triune God who had saved and captivated him and his life.Earl's Jesus sign

My friend Jack told me I was going to meet his friend Earl at New Day Bakery in early September, as we made a stop on a trek for coffee. Soon I was sitting with Earl and another older gentleman, as my friend had to step outside. I was part of the old guys coffee klatch, how cool!

It only took a few minutes of getting to know Earl until I realized I had a lot in common with him, including the fact we could go from teary‑eyed to laughter in seconds and we share an affinity for God, people, and a faith‑filled adventurous life.

I really wanted to know how Earl became who he is today, particularly how each day is an adventure for him, and with others. I asked him. I quickly learned about his life, business ventures, and his dear beloved wife, Helen, who passed a few years ago. Talk about a man proud of his wife!

I started to understand bits and pieces of a man who walks a rather extraordinary walk with God.

We talked about the goodness of God, His kindness, and the friendship and partnership we have with Jesus.

I also found that Earl Everett is a “sign guy.” Not the kind asking for money, a ride to San Francisco, or who wants affinity with his political views, but rather the older guy who sits by his car or on a motorized scooter near busy intersections or on quiet rural roads with his sign.

It wasn’t Earl’s idea to be a Jesus sign guy. In fact, when asked, he said “no!” And as I’ve learned through several conversations with Earl, Jesus replies in a certain tone to his stubbornness with an “ooooohhh?” It almost seems as if Jesus smiles when he encounters Earl digging in his heals about something.

You see Earl and Jesus have not only a cordial and respectful relationship, but one of friendship and hilarity. Earl may fuss a bit but he goes where God leads and follows even when he is uncertain of the “Why?”–which seems to be often.

I love getting to know people. They usually have far more depth than one would ever see without taking time to hear them…and observe–with purity lending to the ability to look for the best in another..

Lately I’ve had several opportunities to meet people who seem to be just like me–yet nothing like me at all.

And how refreshing that is!

Pushing back one’s natural inclinations of judgments lends to understanding. Alternately, quick judgments and surface observations can pitch our perceptions and interactions cock-eyed with little effort. Giving people the benefit of doubt, combined with wisdom and insight–of course, is needed in so many encounters. When we can afford, we can simply take time to be, and let another be, without comparing our differences or straight away tempting to be persuader, and help them be like more like us?

I can’t tell you all the stories of others I’ve met lately because I haven’t garnered their permissions. But many new friends and acquaintances fall into the category, “They are just like me, yet not.”

It’s a perspective thing. It’s respect. It’s looking for beauty and value, and using the lenses that magnify the imprint of the Creator on them. It’s love. And that leaves with this: love isn’t just an emotional state it’s also action. That’s what’s on Earl’s heart these days. His heart aches to see love as action, needs met, helps provided, and etcetera.

In fact Earl wants us all to walk with Jesus in a way where actions speak primarily and words follow as needed. He doesn’t claim to have anything down pat yet in his 80 plus years of living his heart’s desire is to bless his Friend and love others accordingly.

As we are in the season which can be a pressure cooker of stress and emotions, it’s a good time to love like God continues to love us.

I want the heart Earl has allowed Jesus to cultivate, where love pours forth according to the heart of God towards mankind–moment by moment, person by person.

I plan on helping Earl with some writing projects but for now I am introducing you to a friend and encouraging myself and others to take moments to understand who people are and see their value.

Yesterday I had an encounter with my favorite homeless lady. It was freezing outside yet with no hidden motives she took time to offer me a hug and a compliment. I returned a compliment and encouragement right back, and with ease while recognizing we are more alike than we are different. Her story is possibly for another day.

Annette Trucke 12/2016


A Million Steps

May I challenge you to a million steps!

Will you be moved by my provocation?

Or, simply sigh and say, “I have done that countless times!”

The fact is, most of us have. We just weren’t counting, though. And…we didn’t do it all in one walk!

An average million steps is approximately 500 miles. Some of you have done that much simply by shopping at a mall over the course of a few years. Others are on their feet all day working, and others do a daily walk or hike–and just live life in motion.

We do get our million steps in. I have a few times over as one who has been a walker and hiker for years.

But, if I were to have asked you to sign a pledge and get it done via commitment, would you be more or less likely to get in the 500 miles and accomplish the million step challenge?

Every goal needs a workable deadline. Yes, it can be readjusted with major life changes or re-worked to accommodate days where we make other choices–like double-timing it the next day.

To succeed at reaching our desired and needed goals, how about setting yourself up with a deadline. I used to think I was so undisciplined that the only way I could get something done was by having a crunch time: a deadline with an “or-else” factor.

The issue wasn’t that I was undisciplined–though that may be the case, but rather it is a means to work with my personality type. There really should never be guilt in learning to work within our style. We do well to understand how to work with ourselves, like learning how to work with a busy four year old. Understanding, techniques, and loads of grace should be lent towards ourselves as we bite off big challenges. There is no harm in going for the ascent up the mountain!

Tell me, where is your mountain, what does it look like, and when will you climb it? If you want to walk in the daylight there are only so many hours till sunset.

There is your deadline: sunset.

sunset photo