With the passing of evangelist Billy Graham this week, the man’s legacy has been much on my mind. Billy Graham has been the conduit of the Holy Spirit’s work in drawing untold numbers of believers to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. His message was powerful and clear: You must be born again.
Yet within that mighty message was the demeanor of a man filled with humility and kindness. Mr. Graham was not naïve. He wisely prevented any hint of scandals in his traveling ministry, ensuring that he was never alone with any woman other than his wife. While men in this day and age seem to be mocked for such a conservative choice, Mr. Graham held fast to that rule until the day he died. I’m sure he was met in heaven with the voice that said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
It was his attitude of servant-hood that truly stands out. This week, watching video after video of him through the years, I was struck by the man’s kindness towards all, even politicians and others who could cause my own neck hairs to bristle. His gentle spirit makes me somewhat ashamed of what my own reaction might be if I were in his shoes, greeting people with whom I strongly disagree. I suppose that’s why Billy Graham was offered these opportunities to share the Lord’s love and I was not!
While we each of us have our own platform to share the love of Jesus, I am deeply moved to try to be more like Billy Graham. I will likely never reach the numbers of readers that Mr. Graham reached in his ministry. But even in my small sphere of influence, I pray that God will instill in me a gentle and kind spirit. Not with a weak message about salvation but with a strong message of Christ’s love written with humility. A kindness that will allow others to see Jesus through my writing.
Well done, Mr. Graham.
Elaine Marie Cooper is the award-winning author of Fields of the Fatherless and Bethany’s Calendar. Her latest release (Saratoga Letters) was finalist in Historical Romance in both the Selah Awards and Next Generation Indie Book Awards. She penned the three-book Deer Run Saga and has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies. She freely admits to being a history geek. She has recently signed a four-book contract with Burnett Young Books. The series is set in Connecticut during the American Revolution. You can visit her site at www.elainemariecooper.com