Last year I watched Billy Graham being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey on television.
Oprah told him that in her childhood home, she use to watch him
preach on a little black and white TV while sitting on a linoleum floor.
She went on to the tell viewers that in his lifetime Billy has preached to twenty-million people around the world, not to mention the countless
numbers who have heard him whenever his crusades are broadcast.
When she asked if he got nervous before facing a crowd, Billy replied humbly, "No, I don't get nervous before crowds, but I did today before I was going to meet with you."
Oprah's show is broadcast to twenty-million people every day.
She is comfortable with famous stars and celebrities but seemed in awe of Dr. Billy Graham.
When the interview ended, she told the audience, "You don't often see this on my show, but we're going to pray."
Then she asked Billy to close in prayer.
The camera panned the studio audience as they bowed their heads
and closed their eyes just like in one of his crusades.
Oprah sang the first line from the song that is his hallmark "Just as I am, without a plea," misreading the line and singing off key, but her voice was
full of emotion and almost cracked.
When Billy stood up after the show, instead of hugging her guest, Oprah's usual custom, she went over and just nestled against him.
Billy wrapped his arm around her and pulled her under his shoulder.
She stood in his fatherly embrace with a look of sheer contentment.
I once read the book "Nestle, Don't Wrestle" by Corrie Ten Boom.
The power of nestling was evident on the TV screen that day.
Billy Graham was not the least bit condemning, distant, nor hesitant to embrace a public personality who may not fit the evangelistic mold.
His grace and courage are sometimes stunning.
In an interview with Hugh Downs, on the 20/20 program, the subject turned to homosexuality.
Hugh looked directly at Billy and said, "If you had a homosexual child, would you love him?"
Billy didn't miss a beat.
He replied with sincerity and gentleness, "Why, I would love that one even more."