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Passing Of A Hero

Over the last few days I’ve read and heard so many tributes to Billy Graham who stepped into eternity last week in his 100th year of life. He was described as the world’s pastor and a friend to kings, queens and presidents. Any attempt to define the impact of that one life, lived in service to God, would be impossible. The affect he had on the world is immeasurable and his legacy is incalculable.

I never met him but heard him preach and he has been my hero for 30 years. There are so many stories I could relay but this one seems the most poignant as I write this. Billy Graham was once asked what he would say to the Lord when he saw him face to face. After decades of proclaiming this life changing message of Jesus to millions, the unfathomable accounts of individual lives transformed by his words and the total absence of even a hint of impropriety. This is what he said, “When I stand before God I will asked him this question, why me?” In saying that he expressed the very essence of his prolific success as an evangelist, his unprecedented humility.

Yesterday I stopped off in North London and filmed a short Facebook Live video at the former site of the Harringay Arena that hosted Billy Graham for the four months of his Greater London Crusade in 1954. Shortly before he arrived 64 years ago this week, a bishop predicted that he would fall on his face in London and return to America with his tail between his legs. It seems God had different ideas along with the 2 million people who heard him live in that giant ‘barn like’ auditorium and millions more who tuned in to the audio signal that went out from Harringay via WWII Post Office landline relays. I have met so many people over the years that were there either as a spectator, in the choir or some other volunteer role. Heaven has welcomed home one of God’s Generals, the 35 year old firebrand in the sharp suit who preached Britian to the edge of revival in 1954 and went on to shake the stadiums of the world with the simple truth that God loves us.
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