- This past week I saw Billy Graham on the Larry King show talking about his last crusade in New York City which is starting this week. I'm still impressed by this evangelist.
- I also read this article from Christianity Today about the role that Billy Graham has played in our culture and about his character as a man.
- His crusade in NYC is on my prayer list.
In my life, I've seen a lot of people with power and money. As a newspaper reporter, I've seen several presidents from a close proximity, lots of U.S. Senators and Representatives, a few titans of industry and a whole bunch of pro jocks. I was kinda, sorta impressed, but then their luster faded into a vapor that disappeared. Not so, with Billy Graham.
When I grew up in a very old apartment building on the banks of the Saginaw River in Bay City, I remember watching Billy Graham on television. My dad was long gone and my mother was fighting for survival for both me and her. How did she maintain hope that the future would be better?
Her faith in Jesus Christ was very real. She always had her hands on the handles of her faith. Occasionally, they would loosen, but she never let go.
I remember her watching Billy Graham in black and white on our little portable television with rabbit ears.
She loved watching the whole program. The voice of George Beverly Shea will forever be burned into my memory. I still love his singing and I've purchased many of his songs from i-Tunes and play them on my computer. You could watch my mother's heart change listening to him sing Amazing Grace. She saw Jesus and what he did through that song and through that singer.
Then, there was Billy Graham's message. It was clear, simple and strong and it was pure Gospel, spoken in a way where you could see the application to your specific circumstances. That's where my mom got her hope. Graham had a way of connecting with people at all levels and from all stratas. He was not judgmental, but filled with love that came from Jesus.
It would touch my mother's heart and remind her of the truth of the final song in the crusade which was always the same. "Just As I Am Without One Plea."