Reactions to Billy Graham’s death — and especially his life — have flooded in from many famous religious and political figures since he went home to be with his Savior late last month. Now on the day of his funeral, some of the famous people are speaking out, and their reactions to Graham’s passing are not exactly what the media expected.
A number of news cameras caught up with “Today” show host Kathie Lee Gifford, one of the many Christian figures spotted at Friday’s funeral in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Asked what her reaction was when she first learned Graham had died, Gifford replied, “I was sitting in my makeup room getting my hair and makeup done to prepare for my show [and] I threw my arms up in the air and I said, ‘Thank you, Jesus!’”
“Someone just said ‘it’s a sad day’ here, and I said, ‘Who told you it’s sad? This is a celebration!’” Gifford explained. “This is an incredible triumph today.”
“The best day of a Christian’s life is the day they go home — to our real home,” she continued. “So Billy couldn’t wait! He couldn’t wait to see [his wife] Ruth again. He couldn’t wait to see the face of Jesus he’d been preaching about all those years — his reward!”
“So any of us that are crying today are crying tears of joy,” Gifford told the news crews.
The media also caught up with Lakewood Church’s Joel Osteen whose joyful attitude matched that of Gifford’s. In addition to being a senior pastor, Osteen is a televangelist who reaches up to 20 million people a month with his broadcasts.
“We’ll just celebrate Dr. Graham’s legacy and the life he lived of faithfulness and integrity,” Osteen said. “He inspires a whole new generation of younger ministers. Being on the airwaves way back then in his day, you know, he’s made it easier on myself and so many of us.”
“I’d love to take this moment to pause and say ‘Thank you, Billy Graham, and thank you, God, for what He did through his life.”
Watch both of their brief interviews below:
Missed Graham’s funeral? Watch it below:
What do you think about Gifford’s response? In related news, Billy Graham’s youngest daughter Ruth gave an emotional speech at her dad’s funeral.