While in Bible college, many different sayings would be used of the Lord to shape my personal philosophy of life. “Early is on time and on time is late;” “The foundation of gratitude is the expectation of nothing;” “He who aims at nothing hits it every time;” and so many others were mentioned often in the classroom and from the pulpit to reinforce the scriptural principles we were learning as we prepare for ministry.

One such quote that became a real-life illustration for me this past week was this- “You can impress from a distance but you can only impact up close.” Paul Williams, my uncle-in-law, went home to be with the Lord last week. This is undoubtedly a very difficult time for the family. But I witnessed something on Friday evening that the Lord has used to help my ministry.

On Friday, family and friends were able to view Uncle Paul as he lay in the funeral home. It began at 4:30 p.m. What would take place in the next few hours was unbelievable! From 4:30 until after 9 p.m., the line to see Paul Williams was constant. There was literally no parking spots left at the funeral home. The funeral home was to close at 9 p.m. but because of the enormous outpouring of respect for the family, that just did not happen.

The line consist of family, friends, co-workers, people in the community, and so many others. As I went around town, it seemed many was at one point impacted by Uncle Paul’s life. And that is exactly what was life-changing for me. I watched as for hours people came to give their respects to a man who has not just simply impressed people- but impacted them. Through his life many have been challenged to be the best that they could be. Paul Williams was described as a man who constantly had a smile on his face, loved his wife and children, and was a friend to those who need a friend. What a testimony!

Today, I am a direct beneficiary of his good life. Amy often speaks of the times he had with Uncle Paul and Aunt Carol- their goodness and generosity. She today exemplifies these traits because of the influence her uncle and aunt had on her life.

I can only pray that when I graduate to Heaven, I could impact as many lives as my Uncle Paul. You see, the measure of greatness is not dependent upon the treasures we possess; it is measured by the lives we have served. For almost five hours, people whom my Uncle Paul served kept coming because he did not simply impress them, he impacted their lives!



  1. Thank you Juan for writting such a lovely artical about Paul. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone back and read it. I love you and Amy and so did PaulAunt Carol

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