Yesterday was an important day.
Billy Graham celebrated his first day in Heaven.
Graham was (and now is more than ever) totally devoted to Jesus.
He gave his life to spreading the message that in Jesus – and only in Jesus – we can be forgiven of our sins and enjoy a reconciled relationship with the God of the universe.
The impact Graham had on our world is nearly impossible to overstate. Through his preaching and teaching, God changed the hearts and lives of countless men and women.
He wasn’t a perfect man, by any means. But, he was a man committed to his Savior. When I heard that he had passed away, could almost hear Jesus saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Our loss is his gain.
Yesterday was important for another reason, though.
It was a celebration of a different sort.
It was my Mama’s birthday.
Most of the world has never heard her name. She has never preached before millions or written a best-seller or met with international leaders.
But as I thought about the impact that Billy Graham has had on the world, I thought also about the impact she has had on my world.
I’ve watched her begin every day by spending time with Jesus – listening to Him and talking with Him as with her best friend.
I’ve watched her open her home to hundreds of people.
I’ve watched her prepare thousands of meals (and batches of cookies) for family and friends and neighbors and just about anyone else that God allowed to cross her path.
I’ve watched her go through cancer with gratitude for each day and then seek out other women going through that same hell, so she could encourage them and pray for them.
I’ve watched her give generously of herself and whatever else she had to those in need.
I’ve watched her humbly serve without complaining even when those of us she serves fail to serve her in return – or, often, to even thank her.
To have a heart like that.
She teaches me more about the love of Jesus every single day.
She makes me want to know Him more and love Him better every single day.
I’m less like Jesus than I want to be, but more like Him than I would have been without her.
Here’s the point.
There is more than one way to be a good and faithful servant of Jesus.
Billy Graham was faithful to the call God made on his life and, as a result, God used him powerfully. My Mama – Chrissy – has been faithful to the call of God on her life and, as a result, God has used her and is using her powerfully.
We need the Billys. We also need the Chrissys.
I, for one, am grateful for both.
You will be missed, Billy.
Happy Birthday, Mama.