On Wednesday, Reverend Billy Graham went home to Jesus at the age of 99. As we celebrate his legacy and the millions of lives he forever changed, Bart Millard from MercyMe told us the story of a moment with Reverend Graham that changed his life:
Finally home. I loved Dr. Billy Graham so much. Mostly from afar, but @themercyme had the privilege of playing at his last 3 crusades. The one at the Rose bowl in Pasadena stands out the most. My 2 yr old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about a week before, and I struggled with wanting to stay with my son rather than heading to Pasadena. We informed Dr. Graham’s people of my dilemma, and they totally supported my decision to stay home. Then we got a call back asking if I’d be willing to have a plane fly to Texas and get me because Dr Graham wanted to “hug my neck and pray for my son”
I looked at my wife who said “You’ve got to go!” So off I went. When we got to the Rose bowl, we were lead to a covered tent on one side of the stage and, like the 100,000 people in the stands…waited. We watched Dr. Graham’s security team congregate on the opposite side of the stage. I remember thinking “I flew this whole way and they’re bringing him in from the other side?” Then all of a sudden, from behind us, a voice said “Sometimes you’ve got to create a distraction to get a second to yourself.” And there he was. This spiritual giant. It didn’t matter how frail he was at that point in his life. To me, he stood 10 ft tall. He shook all of our hands, then placed his hand on the back of my neck, pulled me close and started praying over my son’s life. I don’t remember everything he prayed, I was too overwhelmed with what was taking place. But I’ll never forget when he finished praying and looked up at me, he had tears in his eyes. WHAT?!? This man who has prayed for who knows how many people in his lifetime was moved to tears over my son?!? I will cherish that moment as long as I live. I then walked on stage, sang “imagine” walked off stage, headed back to the plane and was back with my son just after midnight. Of all the amazing things Dr. Billy Graham has done for the kingdom of God, nothing will resonate more with me than that single moment. Thank you God for Billy Graham. And I rejoice knowing, after so many years of faithfulness, he is now truly seeing as Christ sees.