Spotlight Lee Eppley

By Rev. Craig LaSuer

Lee Eppley left this earth to be with the Lord in September. Lee had some developmental challenges in his life, but he lived his life fully and lovingly. He had a very loving and Christian family.

At his Celebration of Life held at our church, there were a number of people who shared about their relationship with Lee. The guys would always pick Lee up for the Men’s Breakfast, and some others would take him to ball games. Lee would call a number of folks including our office staff just to talk. Lee would hardly ever miss a Sunday, and our faithful bus drivers would bring Lee and others every week.

Anyway, as I listened to the testimonies about the beauty of Lee’s life and the interaction folks had with him, one thought kept coming through my mind, “This is what the church of Jesus is all about.” I am so proud of how this church loved Lee and how he loved them right back. This is the church of Jesus! People of differing abilities, gifts, backgrounds, economic status…..people with differences, period, being together in the love and community of God.

The other thing I know is that God chooses who God chooses to teach us what we need to know. This man named Lee Eppley was a disciple of Christ who came to church every week, often when he did not feel very well, and every week it was Lee who came to kneel at the altar during the last hymn. He knelt humbly before the God of his life. He came, gave an offering, greeted people with love, asked about their lives, at times asked for needed assistance from his sisters and brothers and worshiped God.

My question for all of us is, who are the other “Lee’s” in our midst, in our church, and in our lives? Who has God placed before us that is different yet beautiful and who we are called to love, embrace, receive love from as well as learn from? My hope is that, in honor of Lee, we will have eyes to see, hearts to love and time to spend with the gentle saints sent to us by God.