How will you be remembered? A reflection on attending Billy Graham's funeral
It wasn't the obvious things that struck me most forcibly! Yes, there were more American Secret Service men than I've ever seen, all stern-faced, ear-piece wearing and gun-toting. Yes, the entrance of Donald Trump was eagerly awaited and (encouragingly!) understated and respectful. Certainly, 2,300 guests from all over the world under a huge marquee was a memorable experience. Undeniably, it was an honour and a privilege to be present ....... but...... I was mainly moved by the simple humanity of the memories the family shared of their father. Not much talk of his conversations with Presidents, his millions of converts, his global status.... Rather, the sheer integrity of Billy Graham as a man.
Two standout moments for me - his daughter confessing to some poor life choices, potentially embarrassing for her famous father, only to be shown unconditional love on her return home. "Billy Graham wasn't God, but he showed God to me!" And Franklin Graham's reflection, "The Billy Graham you saw in public and the Billy Graham we saw at home was the same man!"
There won't be thousands at my funeral, or any media attention. But, please God, someone will say I showed them Jesus and that my personal and professional life were lived without contradiction.
I thank God for the late, great Dr. Billy Graham - both the mission he had and the man he was!