Sunday, August 12, 2007

Billy Graham on the Cover of TIME

This week Billy Graham will once again be on the cover of time magazine. Coinciding with a new book, “The Preacher and the Presidents” by Gibbs and Duffy, Graham was also the subject of last Friday night’s edition of “20/20” on ABC.

There are many stories circulating this week about Graham that are full of intrigue, historical insight, loving tenderness and faith.

Some especially associate Graham with Republicans. In truth Graham was very close with President Johnson’s family and President Clinton’s. One story tells of a day Johnson took Graham on a walk around his Texas ranch, to a clearing in the trees near where his parents were buried. Johnson wanted to know if he would see them again in heaven. And then another question: Would Billy preach at his funeral? Johnson knew the world listens when a President dies. "Don't use any notes," he said, and no fancy eulogizing either. "I want you to look in those cameras and just tell 'em what Christianity is all about. Tell 'em how they can be sure they can go to heaven. I want you to preach the Gospel." And just one more thing. "Somewhere in there, you tell 'em a few things I did for this country."

Another story tells of the last days and hours of Ruth Graham’s life. Billy and their five sons and daughters were ringed around Ruth's bed, reading Scripture, singing Great Is Thy Faithfulness, a hymn sung by millions of people at Graham's crusades. Finally, at twilight, she took a few last breaths. Billy leaned over and kissed her cheek and her forehead. He asked his children to sing the doxology with him, and they struggled through it, praising God, "from whom all blessings flow." The cat that had been shooed away from the bed for months was now allowed to jump on and curl up beside her. And then the family lit a fire in her fireplace, just the way she had liked it.

Many will find the book and TIME articles to be a fascinating read. However, some are convinced that something sinister or at least unfair is taking place at TIME. You’ll notice on the magazine cover that the “M” in TIME is strategically placed over Billy Graham’s head so that it appears he has devilish horns.

Read the articles for yourself. I found them to be fair and balanced (no reference to FOX intended).

Such reflections have me lingering with the same thoughts I posted previously regarding Colin Powell and the importance of a life well lived and a legacy. Today was another good day of purpose, focus and engagement. With God’s help let’s do it again tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree, that was a great issue.

My "art school" take on the cover: nothing evil, just an example of an amazing layout coupled with an unfortunate letter in the 3rd position. The margins, the spacing, the size, the way he is facing down at the text: great, great work.

I saw someone post on another blog about the "devil horns" and it's too bad people have to pick up on that, rather than what Billy Graham means to the world.