What a legacy. What a life. Billy Graham–the evangelist to presidents, kings, and ordinary people like me–died this morning after a long illness. At a time when our nation desperately needs spiritual leadership, his passing leaves a void.
I had the opportunity to attend and work in two of his crusades—Birmingham, AL in the 1960s and Atlanta, GA in the 1980s. I trained to be a counselor to those who came forward and was able to pray with some. Our church also followed up with those in our community who asked to receive Christ.
This past weekend I attended a writers’ conference at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove. The Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference was a wonderful opportunity for fellowship with other Christian writers. Together we learned better writing techniques from the best in the industry. I came home refreshed and renewed from that special weekend.
I took a break from classes to visit the Ruth Graham bookstore on the lower level of the conference center. Displays of memorabilia from the Graham’s world travels lined the halls leading to the bookstore. As I looked at the gifts from world leaders, I wondered if Billy Graham would live to see his 100 birthday. It would have been a great birthday celebration next November, but nothing like the heavenly welcome he is experiencing today. Not only is he seeing Jesus face to face, but he is reunited with his beloved Ruth, his wife for 63 years.
Few of us will have the same opportunity to witness to millions, but God has a task for us right where we are. May we be equally faithful to our calling.
This verse spoken by Jesus found in Matthew 25:23 sums up the life of Billy Graham.
"His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' (NIV)
|Writing friends at the Cove|