Bill and I became acquaintances about 16 years ago, in Sunday School at HGC, back when pastor Ken used to lead the class.
But acquaintanceship wouldn’t cut it for Bill, for since his goal was to influence people for godly living he need to move pass that shallow stage. Not long after we became friends some sobering and challenging questions, in reference not only to my faith but also how I lived out, started to come my way.
Some of these questions certainly made me feel uncomfortable as well as a little angry at times; although I never showed it to Bill. But every time I stop to ponder about such questions, I felt a sense of growth and satisfaction. Needless to say, I started valuing what he had to say, even at the price of discomfort!
I called upon Bill’s expertise at a point of much personal pain, anger and confusion. And since Bill noticed that I was more concern about my reputation than loving the person I thought was being inconsiderate with me, he responded with the following statement: ” Since when are you God? Your job is to love and pray for your daughter. God’s job is to protect and work in her life”.
It’s been about 10 years since the occurrence of that conversation, and it was only a month ago when, because of my moving out of state, I had to say goodbye to my daughter. We hugged, kissed and also cried because we no longer were going to be closed together. His counsel helped me restore my relationship with my daughter.
Bill would call me to schedule regular appointments in order to “catch up with me”, when in reality he was going to mentor me.
At one of those meetings, – at Andy’s Corner in Hawthorne- Bill said to the waitress: ” We are getting ready to pray for the food; is there anything in your life you would like us to pray for? ” Sometime later I found myself at a restaurant in Ocean City MD, asking the same question.
I apologize for not being able to be there with you to honor the man who became a friend and mentor to me and whom I dearly loved and will miss greatly.
Thank you for sharing him with all of us!
Ramon De La Hoz