Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It always comes back to you

I received a note today from one of my heroes. He doesn't even know who I am but none-the-less he took the time to send this message. It read;

Dear Friend,

Your kind greetings on the occasion of my 90th birthday were a great encouragement to me, and I want to thank you for taking time to write to me. I feel humbled and overwhelmed by the thousands of messages people have sent me. At the age of 90, I am responding to you by e-mail—something new for me! (Though I must admit that my staff is having to help me send it!)

You will be interested to know that I had wonderful celebrations for my birthday with family and close friends.

The prayers and support of people like you over the years have meant more to me than I can ever express, and I am grateful for your partnership with us in the work of the Gospel. Most of all, I am grateful for God’s constant faithfulness down through the years.

May God richly bless you.

Cordially yours,
Billy Graham Signature
Last month I received an e-mail from Franklin Graham asking for people to send in notes to his dad telling how he had touched our lives. He suggested this could be our way to say Happy Birthday to him. I sat down and sent along a note that expressed how I had been inspired by his love for the Lord and it helped me make a decision to go into ministry.

It was one of those things you do without any real expectation that THE Billy Graham would sit down and read it. I think that is why this letter struck me today. Someone read my note and the tons of others and responded to them. You can sense the heartfelt emotion in the note and realize that this was a special gift for a man who gave his life as God's servant. The Rev. Dr. Billy Graham was moved by the number of letters that came to him from around the world. He was blessed by them and with the help of his staff he acknowledged all of us who wrote.

It made me think of Harry Chapin's song, "All my life's a Circle." Everything that goes around, comes around again. Solomon said it best in the book of Ecclesiastes.

"Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. .. Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well."

It always works that way. When we pass on a kindness, it won't be long before it comes back to us. Today I was blessed by the man who blessed me over thirty five years ago. And I lift up my hands to praise God and say thank you.