October 21, 2013
By Michael W. Smith
Billy Graham. There’s been nobody else like this man, probably in the history of mankind. He’s one of the most revered men in the world, even by people who don’t share his belief. You even have atheists who admire him. It’s pretty amazing. I don’t believe there will ever be another man like Billy Graham.
And now, it’s unbelievable that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of so many of Billy’s crusades, and part of the first ever subsequent Youth Nights. Traveling with Billy Graham and sitting on that stage and watching literally thousands come forward to accept Christ was one of the greatest honors of my life. I so enjoy now being at the crusades with Franklin Graham – and hearing this same message, the message of God’s love, and watch as thousands upon thousands respond. It gives me chills when I think about it.
So, when I had an opportunity to be a part of this event with Billy Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, I was thrilled. It really all started when Billy wanted to preach again. Can you imagine…approaching 95 years of age and still with a passion for the Gospel burning stronger than ever! I knew he was writing this book called ‘My Hope’ and heard he was going to preach through this campaign called My Hope America, so we music folks were all thinking how awesome it would be to create something around My Hope.
It never fails when I go see Billy, he wants to talk about heaven. He says “I’m just ready to go.” He speaks often not just of his longing for heaven but also about how much he’s in love with Jesus. I get choked up every time. We thought, “Why don’t we write this from his perspective? The song could be Billy Graham talking to Jesus.”
One day, I wrote this little melody in my studio, and I just couldn’t help but think about him. It is called “Take Me Home.”
My dear and faithful friend. When does it all begin. When will I see your face and touch the scars upon your skin. Somewhere down the road or is it getting closer. Please come soon, I long to be with you. Won’t you take me home?
I plan to play the song for him in person before his birthday on Nov. 7. I hope I can play it for him and not cry.
I’m so excited about this music project. I’m excited about honoring this man, Billy Graham, who in his usual style would most certainly deflect any glory and point to Jesus Christ. But, perhaps more than anything, I can’t wait to see the outcome of this national effort called My Hope America with Billy Graham and the thousands who will respond to the Gospel as Billy Graham explains it like no one else can. If people step out in faith, God will do the rest. And, then, we’ll give Him all the glory.
Michael W. Smith is an award-winning Christian artist, winning three Grammy Awards and 40 Dove Awards over the course of his career. He has sold more than 13 million albums and recorded 29 No. 1 songs, fourteen gold albums, and five platinum albums. Tune in to the Dove Awards broadcast tonight at 8 p.m. ET on UPtv. Michael W. Smith be joined on stage by the Newsboys for a special tribute to Billy Graham.