i am so deeply sad to acknowledge that long time friend of ys, lee eshleman (on the right in this photo), succumbed to a long on-and-off struggle with depression yesterday (thursday, may 18), and took his own life. lee was half of the amazing drama group, ted & lee.
ted & lee first performed at a ys convention in the mid-1990s, and have been part of our extended family ever since. i don’t use the word “family” lightly here: they’ve been part of who we are, and we part of who they are, for over ten years. we’ve laughed and cried together, shared questions and doubts and encouragement and spiritual journeys.
lee was a gem of a man, a lover of jesus, a gentle but passionate friend, a hilarious story-teller, an honest seeker, a talented artist, a committed father and husband, and many, many more wonderful things. he never looked over a shoulder in a conversation, but always gave 100% attention and care. he didn’t crave the limelight — was actually somewhat of an introvert — but loved being used by god to help people catch glimpses of the gospel, glimpses of the christ who pursues them, glimpses of the mystery that surrounds us.
lee is survived by his wife and three children, and, of course, by ted, his acting, ministry and business partner for over 15 years. please pray for those closest to lee (ted, and lee’s family, especially), as well as the many others impacted by this difficult news.
a few links:
ted & lee’s website, which has an initial tribute to lee, which will be added to in the coming days, including information on memorial service, donations, and such.
a beautiful tribute to lee, written by fellow actor (and regular ys performer), curt cloninger (download from the ys site).
a tribute page on the ys site, on which more content will added in the days to come.