in memory of Billy Graham...
"he heard the word, got the call, took the message to us all, said his message so we'd all understand..."
The world mourns the passing of Billy Graham this week. A man, called by God to deliver His message in the most simple yet profound way possible. A man who lay no claim to a "religion" but a spiritual awakening. This same situation is no different than when St Francis of Assisi received the call from God to "go, rebuild My Church, which as you can see, has fallen into disrepair." At the time, Francis thought that God was referring to the church at Portiuncula and began, in his feeble way of replacing stones. But then the larger message sunk in and Francis then went into the world to call lost souls back to God. This was hard for him as he was basically a shy introvert. Note his introspective time spent with the birds around him!
We are also called to lead souls to God. One person remarked of how the world may never see another Billy Graham and that is true. The world may never see another "Billy." But how about Sally? James? Matthew? Tom? Diane? Yes, I received "that call" many years ago and since then, since I have stepped away from the "rules and regulations" that have kept me bound and realized that it is people we are to serve, not a certain pastor, not a certain way of a particular religion that I must adhere to, but to go back to what Jesus' initial calling was all about. I have felt more free, more inclined to want to spread that Love all around me.
A few nights ago, I watched the movie, "Terms of Endearment." Lots of tears at movie's end; as those of you who have watched it know, the main focus of the film passes away due to cancer. This was made back in 1983 when cancer was still that big, bad boogeyman in the room, unlike today when the chances of surviving it are much better. At movie's end, I pondered my own life and asked myself (and maybe God, too) if I have done "enough" for others. After 20 minutes of no real "response," I let it go and fell asleep. Last night, I again asked God, "have I done enough while I am here?' I then heard His reply: "you're still here, aren't you? No, you have not done enough! There are still more out there who need you!"
I have not done enough and never will I "do enough." This revelation is not meant to be a slap in the face of my self esteem, but rather, a push of motivation to keep going, keep pushing forward. Billy did not "do enough," though in his way he did a lot more than I ever will! But when it was his time to leave us, I am sure the words that the Apostle Paul heard also were heard by him: "well done, my good and faithful servant!"
My friends, look around you. See how the world is still in pain, still in need of love, kindness, compassion and empathy? That is where you and I need to go, to be the "somebody" for another. God knows when we will be finished, though the work may never be done.
To hear those words at the end of our journey: "well done, my good and faithful servant!"...wow! Such a rewarding pat on the back that will be, to see the smile on Jesus' face....it brings me to my knees in gratitude!
May God be with you today and always!