OK. I’ll be honest. I’ve never been a “follower” of evangelists like Billy Graham.

Not that they test my faith, which, frankly, I consider my own business. This is not going to be a discussion of beliefs. I keep mine private. But evangelicals, as a group, have never impressed me or “reached me.”

Now I’ve got to admit I’ve been touched. By the historic Billy Graham.

Graham will be 93 on Nov. 7 and, according to Cathy Lynn Grossman, he is “frail, with Parkinson’s-like symptoms that keep his bent frame bound to a walker and wheelchair. His eyes are too blurred by macular degeneration for reading.”

But he is still crusading, she writes in the Citizen of Tucson, Ariz.

Graham’s 30th book — “Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well” — will be released in this month.

What inspires me is a comment he made in a 2006 interview, the inspiration for his book: “I had been taught all of my life how to die, but no one had ever taught me how to grow old.”

No one prepares you for the loneliness, for pain, for the grief of losing a soul mate, he writes. (His wife, Ruth, died in June 2007.) Nor do they prepare you for the physical pain and degeneration of our bodies.

I’ve thought a lot about that line — that no one teaches you how to grow old. Unfortunately, too true.

We love to tout the statistics that say we’ve added 20 years to the lifespan in the last century. But as Graham is proving, for a majority of us it will creep close to 30 years.

Living to 90 is not unusual anymore. Hurrah?

While we talk about the finances, the medical treatments and the burdens of care-giving on adult children, we rarely hear anyone address the personal pain of aging.

Certainly boomers don’t talk about it. They don’t even want to talk about the perils of age, if my e-mails and conversations with readers are any indication.

Legal paperwork for basics such as who makes your medical decisions or who takes over your money if you are mentally disabled are not high on the boomer talk list. Maybe if they don’t talk about it, the future will change?

Oh, yes, we all know everyone is going to grow old and die. Even the guy who entered my recent light verse poetry contest, offering several verses that began “If I die. …” (I wondered what he knew that no one else did.)

Unfortunately, most of us go through those last years of life with some pain. Perhaps the misery of arthritis or the battle of back aches.

That’s on my mind right now because — after several months of suffering a pinched sciatic nerve — I’m finally almost pain-free and into a full exercise regime. And so I hurt in new places and fresh ways as I use muscles that have been “at rest,” so to speak. I know the hurt will eventually go away; still it’s a pain to go through the preamble of “toning.”

Worse is the conclusion, from Graham’s view, that my current pain may be just the beginning.

“I can’t truthfully say that I have liked growing older,” he writes.

Graham, of course, is looking forward to the end of life on earth and the beginning of his eternity in heaven. It’s his honesty in discussing the miseries of old age that impresses me.

I’m just a “late middler” or maybe an “early ager,” depending on which statistical table you read. I should have a few more years around here, although I’m leery of writing that in case I jinx myself.

Truth is, I appreciate the honesty of Graham’s company as the years pile on. I don’t intend to revel in achy muscles, but I find people who refuse to acknowledge the realities of age a pain-in-the-you-know-where.

So salutes to Graham. I’ll look forward to his next book on honest aging.