Today is my dear friend Young Lee’s birthday. I still miss him greatly. On the day of his passing, I remembered him by writing a blog post. The following is that blog post in its entirety:
One of our dearest friends said tonight that €œif there was anyone on this planet that was not fit for this earth, it was Young. I could not agree more. Those of us who knew him (if even after only just a single conversation), know that Young had the most unique way of approaching life and relationships. He used to tell me that everything that he did in his life – literally everything – this was his ministry and his gift to others.
Of course, the first reason why I got to know Young was because of a mutual love for all things audio (and consequently eBay). Young had many passions in his life, but by far and away, one of the more unique hobbies had to be live pro-audio.
I remember the day when we first showed up to his apartment to gather some gear for the retreat we were about to go on, and I was absolutely dumbstruck by the sheer quantity of boutique audio pieces he owned. At one point, I even asked him why he put up with hauling around so much heavy stuff for a church he barely knew, but he promptly pointed out that there’s no reason to hold onto any of this stuff if he couldn’t eventually use it to help others worship God.
It was a privilege to have worked with someone who could so readily merge his passions (and his giftings) with that of the work of God. And though as lackluster (or foreign) a passion as pro-audio might seem to be, Young’s brilliance in this field is a poignant snapshot of a character that is not just partially devoted to God, but passionately devoted to serving the Lord in everything he or she does.
Young was such an enigma at first; any cursory glance at his life patterns would never seem to make sense to the normal person outside watching in. He consistently made decisions contrary to pursuing a material lifestyle, yet these decisions, having been deemed “irresponsible” to the normal person, almost always had a tendency of gaining focus as we started to view his choices through the lens of a higher moral template.
Moreover, Young always seemed to have an uncanny ability to bring that same kind of focus to our own careers and life choices. Just skimming through the recent comments of this site (please keep these coming) only exposes the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the nuggets of wisdom shared by him to those whom he loved dearly (and he so dearly loved everyone). Even just this night, Victoria was remarking on how incredible it was to see how much Young was able to minister to others, even from within the confines of room 9123 – all of it, a testament to how sensitive Young was to the will and wisdom of our Father in heaven.
I would consider living with Young one of the hardest things a single man could ever do. Not because Young was a selfish person (as is often the case since we are all so remarkably selfish) but really more because Young was just messy. Yes, a very messy person – especially the bathroom.
There is a certain camaraderie for all of us who have ever shared a living space with him (we are a select few), but one thing we can all absolutely agree upon, is that Young’s messiness always seemed to be what some would call orderly chaos. Sam always used to warn me that left unchecked, Young’s stuff would spread to all clean parts of the house (like all things entropic), and while this was true, I grew accustomed to it. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that I grew dependent upon it – mostly because even though there was some method to the madness, I just never knew what that method was.
I remember that Young and I would spend countless hours late at night talking about whatever random thing happened to be in our minds (usually sound related) and inevitably, we would end up experimenting with all kinds of things in the wee hours of the morning (in fact, this is how Tonephile was born). Case in point, Young seemed to always have the perfect cable for everything, and the right cable always seemed to come from a box that I had already looked in – how did he do it? I’ll never know.
I am going to miss our late nights, but more than that, I am going to miss my brother who was always with me late at night, who always had the right cable for the right problems.
Some of the most lasting memories of Young that I will cherish forever are actually a set of unlinked memories that all exhibit Young’s amazing ability to witness. I remember back when we first joined our small group together, we tag teamed welcoming all the newcomers at church; and honestly, while we were able to convince most everyone to attend our small group, I can confidently say that I played almost no part in that success. I distinctly remember coming up with the “meet Young” strategy – I would introduce myself, and then politely ask if they had met Young. A conversation would ensue from there and after five minutes, Young and said new person were best friends.
This also worked even if I wasn’t involved (no surprise there). Young used to consistently amaze me with his willingness to approach the people left out, to be patient with those who were looking for handouts, to show compassion on those who were so very different from ourselves – Young was a very real witness of true Biblical love, and I think everybody could stand to learn just a little bit more from him about what it means to really put another’s interest over oneself.
Through Young’s final months here with us, I (and I hope all of you) have been witness to a movement that has helped reshape and reform the way that I view the coming (but already here) Kingdom of God. What Young now sees so clearly, we only but get a shadow of through the outpouring of love that we have seen from this community that so fervently surrounded our brother during his time of illness. And though it is only a glimpse of what is to come, it shakes my soul to think of the unveiling of the mystery of God’s sovereignty – that Young’s sufferings were a rallying point behind which those of us who are still here can do good work for our common Creator.
Before Young passed on, one of his clearest sentiments was that if his own bodily suffering would bring more glory to Jesus Christ, who suffered for all of us, then he would bear it gladly. In light of this (what noble character!), I believe wholeheartedly that my brother Young would be happy to see us all enter into this time of grieving with not just mourning on our hearts (as is appropriate), but with celebration, joy and thanksgiving for the work that God has done on this earth through the life and death of our dearest brother Young Lee, whom we also know now shares in the power of the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.