Douglas: Following Graham’s life example

I want to make some observations from a distance in this column.

There are some people who you never personally come into contact with and yet they make a tremendous impact on your life. One such person many of us will remember in this way is the late Billy Graham.

He was a man who impacted the world from a place of humility. Humility is not as revered today, as in the past, but this is one of the qualities that set Graham apart.

He had a manner that just seemed to exude graciousness that flowed from this humility. His graciousness allowed him to be the same in front of political figures and the common man. He also seemed to have a gracious manner in front of the cameras of the media or behind the pulpit as an evangelist. Everyone seemed to have importance to Graham.

Underlying the gracious manners of the southern gentleman Graham personified was a man of great integrity. Many articles have been written speaking of the moral fiber of the man.

He made sure he was not in a position where impropriety could even be suggested. He did not preach one thing and live another from every indication I can find.

Even though he was raised in a segregated southern city, he was known to support civil rights for all people.

Graham’s life message was truly about the opportunity all men have in Christ Jesus. He had a love for truth and a love for people. He was able to balance these two loves to come across as a person who genuinely cared about what was happening in a person’s current life and in their life to come.

The Bible tells us “if only in this life we have hope we are of all men most miserable.” Graham was a person who believed deeply in the hope in this life but even more so in the hope in a future life.

I have recently seen a statement credited to Graham, that was actually from the Rev. D.L. Moody, which sums up what we in the Christian community believe about Graham’s testimony: “Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.”

Graham was a man who never sought greatness but had greatness thrust upon him. It is my aspiration to emulate Graham in his humility, his moral fiber, his integrity and his great faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is also my aspiration that I can show the truth to people in such a way of love toward them that they will be positively impacted in their life journey as Graham has impacted countless millions.

For a man I never met in person, he sure has made an impact on me. I pray the spirit that dwelled in Graham will impact the men and women in the pulpits of our churches in Central Kentucky.

David Douglas is the senior pastor at Church of God Cathedral,  3313 Lexington Road. He has been senior pastor since September 2000.