Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Vox Popoli: Gone to his reward

"The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. There was nobody like him! He will be missed by Christians and all religions. A very special man."
- President Trump

The world's best-known evangelist, the Rev. Billy Graham, died Wednesday. He was 99. From the gangly 16-year-old baseball-loving teen who found Christ at a tent revival, Graham went on to become an international media darling, a preacher to a dozen presidents and the voice of solace in times of national heartbreak. He was America's pastor. 

I once heard Billy Graham preach in person in a football stadium. It was... utterly uninspiring. But the experience was also one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen. Because, you see, when he finished, I was thinking to myself, well, that was certainly a bust.

But then people started coming forward. First dozens, then hundreds. In the end, thousands of people came forward in response to the call. It was totally inexplicable. I had seldom been more astonished in my life, before or since.

A few years later, I read something Billy Graham said about his crusades. He said that before he goes anywhere to preach, he asks thousands of Christians in the area to commit to pray for the events, to pray for God to prepare the hearts of those who will be attending. These volunteers pray for months ahead of time. Then, Rev. Graham explained, he shows up, tells the crowd little more than, "God loves you and you need Jesus Christ," and the Holy Spirit does the rest.

Now, I can't prove that is what happened with science, but all I can say with absolute certainty is that whatever it is that made Billy Graham such an astonishingly powerful preacher of the Gospel, it wasn't his eloquence, his rhetoric, or his logic. But he was a true servant of God and follower of Jesus Christ. May his reward be great indeed.