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Opinion
Just as I am..!
By Robert Clements
Billy Graham is dead. The man who was revered by every American president, who vied to have him at their Inaugurals, died two weeks ago at the grand old age of ninety-nine. Two years ago, visiting Chicago, I had gone over to the Billy Graham Museum, and with all the humility within me, tears welling up in my eyes, I had seen exhibits revealing the story of the simplest, yet most powerful preacher of all time. I saw his weather-beaten briefcase, his old Bible, and did not dare touch the wooden, worn out pulpit, from where he’d quite often delivered his powerful messages.

And then I heard the strains of, ‘Just As I Am Without One Plea.’

It was a hymn sung after every message he delivered, and as choir voices rose in crescendo, thousands upon thousands in the audience, stepped out onto the aisles and walked down, just as they were, to welcome God into their lives.

They suddenly knew it was just as they were that God wanted them, not with all the degrees that went after their names, not with all the good they’d done, nor bad they’d inflicted, just wanted them, dirty, filthy, lying, maybe cheats, bad husbands, flirting wives, however, whatever, whoever, just as they were!

“Hey Bob,” God calls, “You don’t seem to want me around you?”

“You’re too holy!” I shout back, “When I become clean and good, I’ll come to you!”

“I don’t need you clean and good!”

“What!” I shout back, “Then how will you have me?”

“Just As you are Bob!” He whispers, “And then as we walk together, you’ll get clean!”

Somehow the idea of not having to work towards holiness appeals to me, because I know however much I try I’ll never succeed, whereas if He above, works in me, there’s a pretty good chance, a change can happen.

It’s like there’s a river in spate and we have to reach the other side. A strong swimmer stands up and says he will swim us across, “But please don’t struggle or swim by yourself, I’ll do the swimming!” he says with a smile of confidence. Everybody is taken to the other side and Mr Swimmer turns around, “Anybody remaining?” he asks and then sees me, “What’s with you Bob?”

“I’m practicing to swim like you!” I tell him, “So you won’t feel bad when you carry me!”

“Bob!” says the swimmer, as he gently takes me and starts to swim to the other shore, “I want you to be just as you are! I’m the one getting you across!”

It was two years ago in Chicago, that I walked through the Billy Graham museum, and as I walked out into the dark night, tears glistening in my eyes, I heard again the strains of that same tune, and saw thousands walk down the aisle, “Just as they were..!”

bobsbanter@gmail.com


News Updated at : Tuesday, April 17, 2018
 
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