The Passing of a Leader and the Passing of Torches
May 07, 2023
Thoughts on the Death of H. Spees
Pastor, Mentor, Friend, Public Servant, Community Leader, Compassionate Advocate for the Marginalized, Strategic Thinker.
I am working on a thought in these moments after news of the death of our friend, H. Spees who have been one of Fresno's great servant leaders for over thirty years.
When community loses a leader who has exemplified so much of the Jesus qualities of leadership we all feel some of the emotions that the disciples must have felt as Jesus was leaving them.
Jesus said two things to comfort and encourage them:
Leadership is about both.
When we mentor, coach, train, disciple, and encourage, we are planting ourselves in the lives of those we have nurtured. We never leave. It is not quite like Jesus indwelling us through the Spirit, but there is overlap and compliment.
Then, as we mentor others, we are sending them. We are investing in investors. We are perpetrating a legacy that has been perpetrated in us.
In the case of H. I am hearing from so many who he has mentored in our community. I know he is so proud of all of you. I know he left this world fulfilled.
Beginning with his own outstanding children and continuing through all of you, his spiritual children, I am comforted by the reality that legacy of service, love, compassion for the poor, and commitment for Jesus is still being perpetuated in Fresno and beyond.
You are great leaders and are taking his legacy to the next level.
I can only home that in some small or smaller way, I am living my life that way.
While we were still praying for him to recover, Steve Skibbie posted this wonderful picture of H with his mentor, Dr. John Perkins. It tells it all.
It reminds me that if I want any significance at all in my life, it will come from investing in the next generation.
Yesterday we lost a dear brother to our family. H Spees went to be with the Lord. He was like a son to John and Vera Mae and a brother to the Perkins children. We are deeply saddened and heartbroken. H entered our lives when he was 19 and brought so much love and joy to our lives. He will be deeply missed. Please keep his wife and children in your prayers during this time.
The beat goes on.