There’s a hole in earth’s breath today.
The sadness brought me to tears.
Tears of sadness.Tears of joy.
Tears of memories.
Tears of contemplation of how I should have been.
An outpost for the truths of God’s Word.
That was Rev. Billy Graham.
This man walked humbly before His Lord, following Christ’s example and living it out. Carrying God’s messages with a matchless voice. An authentic voice. And a voice of hope.
He carried the torch of his heart’s love for the Lord to the world. And many, in turn, have carried that torch to expand that same Love.
For 60 years, he preached a simple message of truth. A message that was always the same:
“I have one message: that Jesus Christ came, he died on a cross, he rose again, and he asked us to repent of our sins and receive him by faith as Lord and Savior, and if we do, we have forgiveness of all of our sins,” said Graham at his final Crusade in June 2005 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York.” (official site)
He preached it whether as a confidant to presidents, as a father to his children, as a helping hand to those starving…or to people of all ethnicities, creeds, and backgrounds…215,000,000 in 185 countries (according to some resources but I’m sure it’s even more than that).
He preached the message that has blessed millions with new life in Christ. And I’m one of them. From another post I wrote about it…
In 1956, he was a young preacher at the age of 37. He preached twenty-six services over four weeks in Louisville, KY.
My parents and grandparents held a large reception for him when he came to town and I vividly remember meeting Dr. Billy Graham. I remember shaking his hand and looking up as he towered over my tiny body.
I stood in awe. I don’t know that any words came out of my mouth. As I looked into his crystal blue eyes, I thought I had just met Jesus! …
In the summer of 1957, Dr. Graham held his historic crusade in New York City. Between May 15 and September 1, he preached the gospel to more than two million people. After my eleventh birthday in July, my parents and I went to New York City to attend the crusade.
According to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, more than fifty-six thousand people left their seats to go forward to pledge their lives to Christ during that time.
Being one of those thousands, I walked that concrete floor to the tune and words of Just As I Am and gave my heart to the Lord that night. *
And come this July, that will make it 61 years.
We leave behind us an influence that affects others positively or negatively. Look at this chain of influence…
*A Sunday School teacher Edward Kimball helped lead to Christ: Dwight L. Moody
*Converted at a Dwight L. Moody evangelistic meeting: J. Wilbur Chapman
*Also influenced by Moody: F. B. Meyer
*Converted at a Chapman meeting: Billy Sunday
*Converted at a Billy Sunday meeting: Mordecai Ham
*Converted at a Ham meeting: Billy Graham **
I’m sure ringing into Billy’s ears today are those words each of us covets: Well done, thou good and faithful servant!
One day heaven will explode with applause (and I’m sure it has done so already) as all the souls, who were ever saved by this humble man’s gift, give him the accolades he so rightly deserves.
There may be a hole on earth today, but isn’t Heaven nice and full!
May blessings follow you as you serve the Lord…Lynn
***You can leave a message on the official Billy Graham site. And I’m sure a gift would be appreciated. The site says…
“In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the ongoing ministry of evangelism at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, online at BillyGraham.org or via mail, sent to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201. Notes of remembrance can be posted at BillyGraham.org.