Billy Graham is with Jesus –
but his life touched my life.
Regardless of your religious affiliation, you likely know the name Billy Graham. If you’re in my age-group, you can probably remember those special network broadcasts. How about the man singing hymns in that deep, deep voice? It wasn’t Billy Graham himself, it was actually George Beverly Shea. When I was little, I thought his voice sounded like thunder. Ok. To be perfectly honest, I thought he sounded like God himself!
If you were a child of about 9 or 10 years old, you gotta admit you were sometimes a little angry because Billy Graham’s crusade aired at a time your favorite television show was scheduled to air. As are result you missed your weekly episode of Quantum Leap, Remington Steele or something. Also, this was way before Hulu and Netflix- so, if you missed it. You missed it!
On occasion, this slightly perturbed me, but not much. Because at my house at my house these crusades brought everyone together to watch the big color floor model TV in the living room.
We didn’t talk much, we just watched for the most part. Now and again, the adults would just say the occasional “amen” or “hmmmm” throughout the show. Other than that, you could hear a pin drop. Me, I was usually postured on the floor laying on my stomach, feet swinging in the air behind me with my head resting on my hands.
At my youngest, I remember thinking to myself “Holy Moly this white man really can talk”. I was captivated by how rapidly his mouth moved. It was like he never took a breath or gave pause. I think at one point, I tried to count his noticeable breaths… dumb kid stuff, I know.
Billy Graham Spoke for Heaven
It wasn’t until years later I learned that his talking had eternal implications. The way he was able to take scripture, break it down to it’s simplest component and make it something we can relate to…even a little child. I recall understanding…really understanding what he was preaching out. Sometimes, I recognized the stories or words from Sundays in church, others times I learned something entirely new about God.
Billy Graham Walked in Peace (in more ways than one)
Through the years, Reverend Graham steered clear of politics and controversial views. He once made a comment that created a bunch of trouble, but he was honest and said he regretted it and moved on. Even in that, I think he showed his humanity and integrity.
He supported every president with prayer. I find that amazing. Some presidents are so crazy, I can barely speak their names. But, Billy Graham stayed beautifully neutral. He was called “the presidents’ preacher”. Imagine the love and the peace of God he had to have in order to support people he likely didn’t agree with politically.
As I listened to the breaking news story, George Stephanopoulos said something like “Reverend Graham focused on uniting people; not causing division”. What a legacy.
Billy Graham’s Influence on Me
I came to know the Lord in my late teens after hearing a fiery sermon preached by my uncle. But, I think every time I heard a Reverend Graham sermon it planted a seed that would later come to that fruition. You know the scripture, some plant, others water, but God gives the increase? It’s no doubt God used Billy Graham to plant and water Gospel seeds in me. Today, I’m married to a senior pastor. Seeds planted. I even blog about his books. My husband and I read one and for weeks he used many references from the book in his sermons.
I think of the millions and millions of people who came to know Jesus because of Reverend Graham. Some we know, like Jessie Duplantis. Others, we will never know because they were just normal, everyday moms, dads, grandfathers and grandmothers.
Billy Graham was an innovator!
It was quite innovative (and rare) to have a Christian preaching on a national network. Think about it!
This speaks to how ground-breaking Billy Graham was. Imagine how much faith it would take to do something so “out of the box”. He was an innovator for the Kingdom of God.
May we all be.
If you’re Christian blogger, you already are. You’re doing something just as creative and innovative to reach people for Jesus.
Farewell for now, Reverend Graham
He will very sorely be missed. I know he has been out of the public eye for some time. But, for me, just knowing he was somewhere on earth breathing the same air I breathed made the world make a little more sense. He lived to be 99 years old.
Reverend Graham is and forever will be part of the landscape of my life and my childhood. God bless him for that.
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