dreams and visions

The Billy Graham Bus


Last night, I rode a bus; Billy Graham was the driver. I call it a bus, though it wasn’t truly a bus at all; rather, it was a standard four-door automobile – perhaps a Buick or a Crown Vic or something of the sort. But it felt mostly as a bus ride would, because fourteen of us were crammed into that standard auto, which ought to have been impossible, but perhaps impossible does not exist when your driver is Billy Graham.

We were all exceedingly different – myself and the other thirteen. They were mostly young, some pre-adolescent even, and I was who I was – a someone I cannot describe now because at no time could I see myself. The congeries – those of varying ages and ethnicities – sat festering against and atop one another in the rear and front seats of that undersized transporter while Billy Graham, soldier of ascendancy, guided us toward an oblivious destination.

When the symphony of whiny outrage threatened to exceed the vehicle’s capacity of volume, Billy pulled the car over, and the fourteen of us unwound ourselves from our pinched quarters, lumbered on cramping legs to the shoulder of a freeway, where Billy Graham began to preach. He was the old Billy – the pre-Parkinson’s Billy.

“Listen up, people!” he blared with a voice drenched in Southern dignity. “We are tired! Tired of driving and driving and knowing only that we’re going toward a place we cannot recognize!”
Silence from the fourteen. Nods of agreement. Nobody would talk over Billy.

“But who of us truly recognizes God?” he said. And each of us continued our nodding, for each of us understood his meaning perfectly. His words implied that we as temporal creatures grasp and understand and see eternal God in only a temporal context. We hear him like we hear a voice’s echo. We see him like we see a memory. We know him as we know the heart and character of a precious loved one, now long departed.

Billy knew the fourteen of us were in uniform agreement. “So how shall we, unknowing as we are, question where God is taking us?” he said.
We each piled again into the car.

6 replies »

  1. Oh the truth of this! Billy Graham is still an inspiring wise man of God! I agree, don’t get off the bus until the Lord Himself gets you to where you are going! We do indeed only see through a veil here, but will one day see Him face to face…..but only if we stay on the bus!

  2. Loved this. Reminds me a bit of The Great Divorce, but in a fresh way that speaks personally to me. The voice of Billy Graham echoes throughout all of my life (Christian and pre-Christian) days. I have often wondered (worried) about the anchor of faith that will be missing from the landscape of our culture when he goes home. I especially loved your descriptions in the last two paragraphs. Well said!

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