Friday, June 11, 2010

Team Mates

My friend's husband got a chance recently to visit Billy Graham in his home in North Carolina. It was a chance of lifetime for him. She sent me a picture of the two of them and it literally gave me goosebumps. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for this man. He devoted his whole life to telling others about Jesus. He seemed to escape the public scrutiny and scandal that so many other evangelists fall prey too. I've just always had the deepest respect for him and his family.

I don't know how many Billy Graham crusades I watched growing up. My eyes tearing up as hundreds would make their way down the aisles to dedicate their lives to the Lord. The sweet hymn "Just as I am" playing in the background. It was powerful and the message was pretty much always the same. The Gospel...pure and simple.

{Hanging in their home}

've been reading the book Footprints of a Pilgrim. It's a compilation of stories and poems written by Ruth Bell Graham. In it she reflects on her life and retells how she fell in love with Billy while they were in college at Wheaton. It's just a sweet story. But what really caught my attention were a few poems she wrote about the separation she struggled with while he traveled.

We live in a time


beloved and loving,


it cannot last long


the good-byes come


like a small death,

the closing of a door.

One learns to live

with pain.

One looks ahead,

not back-

never back,

only before.

And joy will come again-

warm and secure,

if only for the now,


we endure.

{Ruth following behind says something like "Where He leads you I will follow"}

How often do we think about the spouse at home waiting?? This had to have been a huge issue and hardship for her. I have two very dear friends whose husbands travel extensively. They both talk to me a lot about how lonely they are and how they feel left behind. It's hard to know what to say to comfort them because I'm not in that situation. But I think Billy summed it up best when he said, "Ruth was my life partner, and we were called by God as a team," "No one else could have borne the load that she carried. She was a vital and integral part of our ministry, and my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support.

Just think how important she was to him. I know that God puts us together with our mates. He definitely has a plan and knows the paths our lives will take. Her ministry quite possibly was to just be pray for and encourage him from a distance. What an amazing team they made indeed.

Have a blessed day.

#2 Photo found
here. All others taken at Billy Graham's home. Poem found in Footprints of a Pilgrim by Ruth Bell Graham.
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