I remember it as if it were yesterday. We were told to wear white blouses and shirts for the event and to “sing out.” Arriving early, I perched myself in an aisle seat in order to enjoy a clear view of the stage. This was the night that my father had spent so many months planning for with all his friends—the Billy Graham crusade in Miami, Florida. And I was to be a part of the massive choir! My young heart beat a little faster that evening.
These were the memories floating through my mind this morning as we made our way via a tour bus to the Billy Graham Library. On Saturday, a long procession flowed from Asheville to Charlotte, bringing the body of Billy Graham home to his birth place. Brian stood along the route with thousands of other people to honor this faithful man’s life. Here we were two day later, on a rainy Monday, preparing to pay our respects to the last of the great American evangelists, at least in our time.
As we turned into the library, the entrance station donned two large floral wreaths. We then made our way to the main building, where we wrapped ourselves along the designated path to Dr. Graham’s childhood home. No photos were allowed beyond this point in respect for the family.
Upon entering the parlor, we viewed the closed casket along with a large cross-shaped floral arrangement. We then had the privilege of speaking with Roy Graham, Billy Graham’s grandson. I shared with him how much my family had loved his grandfather and how every Sunday afternoon our home was filled with his grandfather’s preaching during the “Hour of Decision.”
After we exited the home, we looked out at the temporary building that was being erected for the funeral on Friday. It’s huge! The press were peppered all over the library grounds, stopping passerbys for interviews. You would have thought you were in the middle of a Nikon or Canon convention.
Did you know that Rev. Graham preached the gospel to over 215 million people in his lifetime? It’s truly amazing the impact one life can have in this world when that life is consecrated to Jesus Christ.
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. . .that they may rest form their labors, and their words follow them.