Well Dr Graham went home to heaven yesterday and everyone seems to be sharing their memories and stories of this amazing evangelist, known as America’s Pastor. I too have stories!
My first remembrance is when I was probably 4 years old. We sat really high up in the Coliseum in LA and I remember that when everyone started singing “Just as I am”, people got up and went way down onto the field. I was very fearful that those people would get lost (when they really were getting found!). I have memories of other times growing up when we would watch a Crusade on TV. I can still hear (in my mind) the comforting sound of the lilt of his voice and its familiarity with so many of my relatives from the south. I have read some of his books. I prayed for him as he counseled presidents and world leaders. I participated in crusades as I got older, most notably Orange County 1985, when I got to shake his hand. I visited the Cove in North Carolina and the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton.
I can think of people who have had a powerful impact on my life: my parents, Jim, Jerry Martin, my friends, teachers, among them. I can list famous people I have met or seen in real life: Lucille Ball, Shirley Temple, Julie Andrews, Sonny & Cher, Mary Tyler Moore, Steve Garvey, among others. I can name people I want to meet when I get to heaven: CS Lewis, Sheila H. Mohler, Abe Lincoln, Peter, Ruth and Miriam. Of all the people in the world, Billy Graham is one of those that I am humbled to have been alive to see, learn from, and who lived a life worthy of the One who called him. I can’t wait to tell him thank you for all he did to advance the Kingdom.