I knew it was coming….we all knew it was coming. Billy was 99 and his health had been declining for years. And I knew from my visits with him that he longed to be with his Creator and he longed to be reunited with his beloved Ruth. But, even given that, I was devastated when I got the news this morning that my good friend Billy Graham had breathed his last breath here on earth. He welcomed me on his stage countless times. Each and every Crusade was so special. But more than anything – I cherished the friendship we developed.
Friend, mentor, counselor, hero, leader, example, pastor – – he was so many things to me – – making the impact of his passing such a deep hurt. At the same time – I know Billy would be questioning why we grieve. Because he is now in paradise. He is face to face with the Jesus he so loved and served so well.
I bet his mansion is actually a log cabin – not that different than the one he and Ruth called “home” in the North Carolina mountains. I’m pretty sure it has a couple rocking chairs for him and Ruth and an endless line of heaven’s residents lined up to thank him for introducing them to Jesus.
I will miss Billy – the same way Debbie and I have missed Ruth. But I rejoice in the promise that we will someday be together in heaven.
Michael W. Smith