Posted on Thursday, January 31, 2013
in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, TreeHouse, Values
My wife and I traveled to California recently to see our friends Jill & Eric Lacher. In the past few days I told tales of Sierra, Max and Eric. In this fourth installment of “Lessons from Lachers” I’m going to tell you about Jill.
For several years I worked with Jill Lacher at a remarkable place called TreeHouse. At TreeHouse Jill was able to captivate people — teens and adults — with her friendly and outgoing personality.
At TreeHouse Jill was legendary for her kindness, compassion and care for others; and the occasional late-start to a meeting because she was helping someone. As Eric explained, “with Jill, compassion trumps time.”
Jill was unquestionably the colleague most likely to step up and volunteer for the jobs no one wanted because of her team player attitude and her love for others.
Apparently, nothing changed with the move to California.
Care and Compassion for People
As Eric and Jill were driving us from Oakland to San Jose Jill told one story after another of the people she had met and help she provided. As the stories unfolded, there was never a selfish, self-centered or self-promoting moment.
– Patient listener
– Generous giver
– Hospitable host
– Talking to lonely kiosk employees in the mall
– Sharing their home with a pregnant homeless woman
– Even people that made her nervous, like the “crazed woman”
Jill takes the time for others
– Jill listens attentively
– Jill is safe and friendly
– Jill is genuinely interested in other people
– Jill listens and not like some who are just waiting for people to shut people up
Care and Compassion for Animals
Jill is a compassionate feeler, and her compassion was not exclusively for people in need:
– As Eric explained, Jill would help “any animals in distress.”
– Homeless cats
– Unadoptable dogs
– She carries bugs in the house outside
– Jill rescues injured or abandoned birds
– And an injured deer who needed a call to animal control
– She tried to capture a stray pit bull
– A vegetarian, while we were in California, Jill was trying to buy a cow to save its life
Quirky, but deep, Jill is a genuinely good-natured person, with a wonderful eye for decoration and art.
Why is Jill the way she is? There are many reasons, but I think it’s because of her faith in God and her faithful desire to be like God:
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty…
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
He will shelter you with his wings…
If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
no evil will conquer you…For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me,
I will answer;
I will be with them in trouble.
I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.” 1
Jill, like Eric, is one of a kind.
1 – Psalm 91, NLT