“I want to be remembered as a person who was faithful to God, faithful to my family, faithful to the Scriptures and faithful to my calling. I want the world to remember Billy Graham as a man that dedicated his life to the Lord and never looked back.” Charisma News Service
That is exactly how I will remember him.
I remember Billy Graham arriving at the Anaheim Stadium with his evangelistic team, nine months after the rest of us, the advance team, started preparing for the 1969 Crusade, lining up everything from the sound and lighting for each night’s service to the counselors who would meet inquirers on the field.
I remember Dr. Graham’s big hand gripping mine when he came in to visit each one of the staff, paid and unpaid. I still hear his gentle assurance to a blind volunteer, “But you see with your heart, don’t you?”
I remember him that night, standing in floodlights on a platform in the middle of a packed stadium, a voice booming forth Biblical truth with conviction in words as simple as those Jesus used.
Sixteen years later, before the next Anaheim Crusade, I was invited to take notes at a breakfast as part of a two-day meeting for Amsterdam ’86, a conference for international evangelists being organized by the Billy Graham Association. I admired those luminaries so much I was too nervous to concentrate or remember what they were saying long enough to write anything comprehensible.
A big hand, a big heart, a reputation without blemish. A man as humble as his Maker. Yet he would be the first to remind us that he was just a man, a fellow beggar pointing to the Living Water and the Bread of Life, a fellow sinner directing us to the sinless One who has taken away his sins and ours.