Monieca and I attended the funeral for Billy Graham this past Friday and both of us were moved and inspired by the experience. In addition to being very memorable, it was an honor and a blessing.
While I could write a small book about the moments that touched me and the thoughts that came to mind, this blog post will focus on one of them.
It was obvious that a lot of people respected and loved Billy Graham, even if they did not know him personally. Of course there were well known individuals in attendance. The politicians and famous musicians seated near the front were seen on the various media reports and I didn’t speak to any of them. But they were present and many of them genuinely cared for Dr. Graham. I did speak with several well-know Baptist pastors and other Christian leaders before and after the service – Ed Young, Johnny Hunt, Paige Patterson, Frank Page, James Merritt, John Ankerberg, Ronnie Floyd, Leonard Sweet among them. All this to say that a lot of well-known and accomplished people were there.
With that in mind you’ll understand how God spoke to me early in the service as Dr. Graham’s sister, Jean, was speaking. She said, “Thank you all for being here and you’re here because you love him. But you don’t love him like I do and you haven’t loved him as long as I have.”
Suddenly it hit me – no matter what we accomplish in life or how many famous people know who we are, no one can take the place of family. No one can love us like family.
My prayer is that you and I don’t neglect our family while rushing through life and working for success.
Pastor Steve Hogg