THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
Over a week ago on Thursday, our brother Joe Lee entered hospice care. A week later, on Friday January 26, surrounded by his family, he slipped into eternity. It has been a long battle—9 months—since he suffered a stroke, which rendered him paralyzed both physically and mentally. He is now free from the chain of illness, living in the place where Jesus has prepared for him in heaven.
As you knew, Oom Joe was a rather quiet man. He didn’t talk much, and he certainly didn’t talk much about himself. These past two weeks I got to know him better from the family. Did you know that he played piano and violin? I didn’t. But, what’s amazing is that he never formally took music lessons! He learned them from friends. I wish I had known this long ago so I could ask him to play at church!
But, that’s Oom Joe; he didn’t like to be the center of attention. His children told me that their father was just a simple and humble man. He didn’t like to talk about his accomplishment, let alone brag about it. Despite the abundance of blessings God bestowed upon him, he remained the same—simple and humble, with a few words.
In his book, The Life God Blesses, Pastor Jim Cymbala notes that a lot of people “begin in lowliness and fervent seeking God and his blessing. But years later, the very successes God has granted have become stumbling blocks . . . .” He concludes, “The blessings can either humble us and draw us closer to God, or they can lift us up and allow our hearts to become full of pride and self-sufficiency.”
I am glad to tell you that until his last breath Oom Joe remained just the same—humble and simple. God’s blessings upon him did not make him proud; they made him grateful. See you again, Oom!