Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Billy Graham is a man

I really like to read about my heroes in the faith. Just their stories and how they came to be. What path led them? Who did they meet? Who did they listen to and like? What type of family did they have? Were their parents Christians? How did they handle money?

I read about Billy Graham and Charles Templeton years ago. Templeton left the faith. He passed away a few years ago. He and Billy preached together and many believed Templeton was a greater preacher than Graham. Anway.

I read about Ruth Bell Graham, Billy Graham's wife. She talked about what it was like the first time she met him. It's just so funny to read about. To think that Billy Graham dated. She said after their first date and struggling on which homemade dress to wear. She had two. She said this:

"After that first date, I knelt beside my bed and prayed, 'God, if you'd let me serve You with that man, I'd consider it the greatest privilege of my life."

What a woman. I hear he's a great man, haha. She liked him a lot but it didn't go anywhere. Billy Graham eventually asked her out again after some time, the way the story goes. I'll just post it here:

Billy Frank became the most popular subject in my journals, my poetry, and my letters. But our relationship went nowhere.

I began 1941 by flunking Greek and ancient history. Finally…February 7, he invited me to go to church to hear him preach.

I was surprised. He spoke with such authority…and, at the same time, humility. The star, seen and admired from afar, became a human, personal thing – within reach.

We drove back to campus in his 1937 green Plymouth. I watched his profile as he guided us through the Chicago traffic and marked the glint in his eyes where the streetlights flashed past. I had felt the firmness of his hand beneath my arm as he guided me through the crowd at church. I was impressed by his unaffected thoughtfulness….

As he walked me to the door, he said, “There’s something I’d like you to make a matter of prayer. I have been taking you out because I am more than interested in you and have been since the day Johnny Streater introduced us last fall. But I know you have been called to the mission field, and I’m not definite.”

When Bill was young, he wanted to play professional baseball, and I wanted to go to Tibet. In truth, neither of us had any business doing either….

In September – “The Ring.” It was purchased with every penny of the 65-dollar love offering Billy had received from Sharon Presbyterian Church.

God, let me be all he ever dreamed of loveliness and laughter. Veil his eyes a bit because there are so many little flaws; somehow, God, please let him see only the bride I long to be, remembering ever after – I was all he ever dreamed of loveliness and laughter.

Those sentiments were rather youthful…and short-lived.

“I will not become a Baptist. I have always been and will always remain in the Presbyterian Church!”

“I’d like you to raise a family.”

“I still think I should be a missionary.”

“Listen, do you or do you not think the Lord brought us together?”


“Then I’ll do the leading and you’ll do the following.”

I almost slapped the ring back into his hand –

This is just hilarious to me. Imagine a man today saying that to most girls. Most girls would peace out and hit the road. The curse of Genesis 3 I guess. "What, you want to lead me." I'm glad to know that Billy Graham did things right. I really want to meet him.

This might be the gayest blog I've ever written. Forgive me, I'm man. I really do not like the word "Uterus." I wish it was removed from the vernacular. I really would like to replace it with the word "tummy." I really just love the word "tummy." It's just a very sweet word that falls off the tongue with minimal effort.

I will be myself again.


Jodi said...

Wow, so that story was definitely hilarious. And, girls would freak out if a guy told them that today. But, its so awesome to see that God created guys who pray through things and who long to lead their wife and family. Sometimes its hard for girls to think about the husband being the actual leader. But, actually its so cool to think about the guy earnestly seeking the Lord so that he can grow and be a Godly leader and example for his wife and family. And, Justin Tanner, you will be yourself are already a wonderful example for your friends and a Godly man who bathes all things in prayer. God is just preparing you to be that wonderful leader for your wife and family one day (and I think you'll be an amazing one)!

JT said...

Jodi Laws. You are a genuine person whom Jesus might say has no guile. I'm glad you are my friend and you are a blessing to this world, and Walhalla.

Lissa Ann said...

Ok, so that was definately different from the norm, but you made a good point!! I have struggled with many things as you know and it would be SO NICE if the boys in this world could and WOULD step up and be MEN OF GOD like Billy Graham. I know that someday you too will know what its like to be a Godly Husband and father to a wife and family. You've been a blessing to me as a friend and i'm sure to many others too!!! May more boys make that commitment to be MEN OF GOD!!!

erin said...

well while other people seem to write you encouragement i wanted to comment on the fact that for someone who does not like the word sure do use it a whole lot. come is just one of the many wonders of God and His creation...just like me having to ask clients about sex in counseling. and i think you are getting back to being yourself posting about such silly things and amazing things all in the same blog. haha...what a guy.