I heard of Billy Graham's passing into heaven today, and it made me want to share something about the love of God here.
Years ago when our son was born, we gave him the middle name of Graham after Billy Graham. Only later did we learn that our son's birthday is only two day's from Billy Graham's birthday. It was special to know that, and I am glad our son has always had such a godly person to be an example for him.
I am thankful for Billy Graham's message of love, grace, forgiveness, kindness and brotherliness. He was a great example of humility and graciousness. He was so willing to admit his mistakes and able to share openly about his regrets, such as how he wished he'd spent more time with his children while they were growing up instead of being away so much on crusades. I love how he admitted his faults and yet was okay with himself for not being perfect, and was gracious with other imperfect people - which includes all of us!
He just exuded peace. He was so at peace with himself, others, God, and life. He lived life so simply, just walking with God in simple trust, like a child, knowing his Father would take care of everything. He was at peace about the future, about death. He was sure of the beautiful heaven awaiting him, sure of God being there to embrace him.
He was so simply in way he just lived as a regular old person walking with God. You could tell how much he loved to just be with God.
I read that his grandson went to visit him one night in a city where he was meeting some big leaders and wondered if he would find him in his hotel room on the night of the meetings. When he knocked on the hotel room door, Billy answered in his pajamas, and the grandson caught a glimpse of an open Bible on the bed in the hotel room. When he could have been out socializing or meeting with big national leaders, Billy Graham chose instead to have a quiet evening with God. I love that and think it really shows what kind of man he was.
Billy Graham wasn't perfect and wouldn't want to be idolized or even focused on. And I think that is the whole point and gives hope for all of us. We are all just regular people that God loves. We don't have to be great. We don't have to be perfect. We are simply loved as we are and our Father loves to just be there with us sharing life together and letting us know He's taking care of everything and will bring us home safely. He's always shining the beauty of the spiritual realm of His LOVE into our lives, our everyday, common, ordinary lives as regular old people!
I love how Billy said that when he died, he would be more alive than ever! It makes me glad to think of heaven and how joyful Rev. Graham is now, how well and whole, immersed in love, fully alive and fully in God's presence! And that is what we all have to look forward to! I am so thankful for that!