A birthday well-earned…

November 9, 2013

Our citizens, in general, wait – too patiently, too quietly – for a big dose of indignation.

Used to, folks usually spoke of “righteous indignation.” Today, most would consider other kinds – hopeful that a few righteous ones might slip through, jarring us from our lethargy.

We hunker, fearful of both the real and imagined. If we make any noise at all, we whimper instead of exclaim. We hesitate signing our names to anything, however worthy, however noble. Instead, we limp along….

*****

What does this have to do with birthdays? Well, Dr. Billy Graham turns 95 this month, and his evangelistic association is executing a long-planned, multi-faceted blitz: “Hope for America.”

With gatherings in thousands of homes in the U.S. and Canada, pulpit messages and telecasts on hundreds of stations, the thrust is to honor God and observe Dr. Graham’s birthday.

Yearnings for indignant boldness can result. We can “hunker up” instead of “hunker down,” pushing for purposeful turnarounds that transcend religions, political parties, age groups and races….

*****

I’ve seen Dr. Graham in person only twice – at a Fort Worth dinner held in his honor some 40 years ago. I also attended one of his last crusades in 2001 at Irving’s Texas Stadium. Both were memorable experiences, but for different reasons.

At the dinner where 250 gathered, a woman marched to the head table.

She extracted a Graham book from her purse and asked for his signature, just as he’d begun eating his salad.

Immediately, a line formed; two dozen others brought books, seeking similar attention from this Christian giant. They got it; he never finished his salad….

*****

At the crusade, thousands of persons responded to his appeal. His sermon – preached in the long-admired “Graham way” – was marked by courage, conviction, clarity and urgency.

I noticed, though, that he gripped the lectern with both hands during the final moments. His legs were shaky, so he closed a bit abruptly, perhaps fearing a fall….

*****

So many have said it so often – “We need another Billy Graham to rise up among us.”

Perhaps there’ll never be another with such focus, such clarity and such a calling.

May God be honored with the massive undertaking; may Dr. Graham’s life of service spark in all of us the “courage of conviction” he has long proclaimed….

Dr. Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Speaking inquiries/comments to: [email protected] Phone: 817-447-3872. Website: www.speaker.doc.com. Twitter: @donnewbury.

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