The Giant In Our Midst: “I feel at times I am empty of what I would like to have been.”

August 8, 2006

Newsweek looks at a giant in our midst, Billy Graham, as he reflects on a life truly lived in a service to mankind. Like all great men, he contemplates his shortcomings and not his accomplishments:

If he had his life to live over again, Graham says he would spend more time immersed in Scripture and theology. He never went to seminary, and his lack of a graduate education is something that still gives him a twinge. “The greatest regret that I have is that I didn’t study more and read more,” he says. “I regret it, because now I feel at times I am empty of what I would like to have been…”

Graham continues to teach, by example. The man who has dined with presidents, kings and queens, finds satisfaction closer to home:

Ruth dwells at the center of his world. “At night we have time together; we pray together and read the Bible together every night,” he says. “It’s a wonderful period of life for both of us. We’ve never had a love like we have now—we feel each other’s hearts.”

Newsweek recounts,

…he seems congenitally incapable of surrendering completely to the weakness of the body. “All my life I’ve been taught how to die, but no one ever taught me how to grow old,” Graham remarked one day to his daughter Anne Graham Lotz. “And I told him, ‘Well, Daddy, you are now teaching all of us’.”

Indeed. As the giant in our midst comes to rest, he can teach us much.

Hat Tip: Kate, of Small Dead Animals.

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2 Responses to “The Giant In Our Midst: “I feel at times I am empty of what I would like to have been.””

  1. The Anchoress Says:

    I always thought it was one of God’s odd little workings that both Graham – a true man of God – and John Paul the Great, also a holyman, were finding their old age “gifted” with the same disease…both of them apparently were appointed the tasks of teaching us how to be old (but still of value), how to be weary but not to succumb…how to die without screaming for deliverance. Neither of these men would consider for one second allowing embryonic stem cells to “cure” them – to allow other lives to be destroyed so that they might have a “better” life. Both of them have incredibly important lessons to teach about human dignity and worth – about how you don’t throw a person out because they are less than perfect, or “past their prime” or difficult to look at, or hunched and palsied. I think we ignore their lessons at our own peril…they are teaching us how to embrace and live that dangerous prayer of blessing, “thy will be done,” in an age where humans wish to surrender nothing of themselves, and when they do not understand – willfully refuse to understand – this paradox: “When I am weak, then I am strong…” Great piece, Siggy. Someday I’ll write again, and I’ll link to it! :-)

  2. [...] is with that in mind that we are reposting The Giant In Our Midst: I Feel At Times I Am Empty Of What I Would Have Like To Have Been.”, a look at the fading twilight of Billy [...]

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