My Name is (not) Earl

by Andy Wood on April 15, 2009

in Esteem, Life Currency, Turning Points

earl-795885It’s time to clear the air.  To let the cat out of the proverbial bag.  I’ve carried the secret, along with a select few other people, for long enough.  Integrity demands that somebody, after 30-plus years, say something.  I guess it’ll have to be me.

Okay, deep breath, here goes:

There is no Earl Trimbley.

Okay, exhale.  I’ll pause here to let that sink in… I know it’s a shock.  Now here, the late Paul Harvey fans (not his real name, either), is “the rest of the story.”

The story begins with a couple of close friends in my high school class – Keith and Mike. Both had an office assistant period during their senior year.  Keith also was on the yearbook staff.  They both were fairly active in my home church.  Both had something of a mischievous side.

And somewhere in one of their heads, Earl Trimbley was born.

Earl had a school record.

Earl was regularly on the list of people that was blasted over the intercom, preceded by, “Would the following people please report to the office?”

Earl has his picture in our senior yearbook.  Twice.  In one, he’s a wide receiver on the football team – a white guy.  In the other, he’s a black guy sitting in the cafeteria, drinking milk.

Earl appeared in my Sunday School department one day.  We were passing a sign-up list around, for attendance I guess, and there was his frilly little signature a couple of lines up from mine.

Mike and Keith were as deadpan as it gets.  They never spoke of Earl.  But Earl always had a way of showing up when they were around.  It’s just that no one ever actually saw him or had a conversation with him.

To my knowledge, Earl has gone the way of platform shoes and Three Dog Night.  But who knows?  Maybe today he has his own Social Security Number, work history, and post office box.  Maybe he’s even on the faculty at Davidson High School in Mobile.

Crazy, huh?

To have an identity for somebody who doesn’t exist?

Want to hear something crazier?

Some Christians have an identity they never reveal.

How uncomfortable does it feel to you to look in the mirror and see someone who is blamelessHoly?  A citizen of God’s household?  A chosen one?  A royal priest?  A work of art?  A child of the living God?  An heir of God?

Would the following Christians please report to the Office?  I’ve got some good news for you.   And this ain’t no “Earl” story.

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