Sunday, August 13, 2006
Peerless and Human Billy Graham
In today's world of politicized Christianity, one televangelists stands heads above the rest, Rev. Billy Graham.
In an excellent article, John Beacham of Newsweek writes about Graham's twilight years spent in simple comfort, very much as he has lived during the past 50 years.
Billy, as many like to call him, wants to share his final testament that love and God are hope eternal to a watching world. One's final season on earth may be filled with angst at temporal loss, he admits, but it is also filled with joy at God's assurances as we draw close.
To everything there is a season, says the author of Ecclesiastes, and for Billy Graham this is the season of coping with the toll of time. Getting around is harder; so is recalling familiar Scriptures. Yet rather than simply withdrawing into the shadows to enjoy a few richly deserved quiet years with his wife and family, Graham believes he may have been called to a last mission: to soldier on by faith, praying and pondering and sharing what he has come to see and feel and think in the twilight of his life. In the same way he refused to give up searching his memory for the verses to the psalm, he seems congenitally incapable of surrendering completely to the weakness of the body. "All my life I've been taught how to die, but no one ever taught me how to grow old," Graham remarked one day to his daughter Anne Graham Lotz. "And I told him, 'Well, Daddy, you are now teaching all of us'." The lesson of age, Anne says, is this: "When you get older, secondary things, like politics, begin to fall away, and the primary thing becomes primary again—and for Daddy, the primary thing is, as Jesus said, to try to love God totally, and to love our neighbor as ourselves."Folks, forget your prejudices about televangelists, read the entire article. You will be blessed by it.