Once again we find ourselves rethinking life and death and values as we contemplate the loss of a woman whose Godliness shone for all to see. Whether we make our home at Smith Mountain Lake or in China, there will always be the need for men and women of character to role model just what a difference God can make in life. Ruth Graham was one of those who held out hope in a world often devoid of much-needed substance. We join her family and friends in sadness at her passing.
June 18, 2007, By Meghan Kleppinger, Editor of www.Christianity.com.
“I must faithfully, patiently, lovingly, and happily do my part – then quietly wait for God to do His.”
Ruth Bell Graham, who died Thursday, June 17th, said this about being a mother, but she exhibited this patient, quiet strength and complete trust in her Creator throughout her life.
Born to missionary parents in 1902, Ruth was raised through adolescence in China. Moving to the U.S. when she was 17 years old, she attended Wheaton College in Illinois where she majored in Bible and joined several evangelistic ministries. While there, she also met Billy Graham a fellow student, and her future husband. They were married shortly after her graduation in 1943.
In a statement released from Wheaton College Thursday, Dr. Duane Litfin, president of the school, remarked, “Strong, steady, and dauntless, Ruth Bell Graham was the glue that held the many of the parts of their lives together.” Understanding the importance of his calling, Ruth joined Rev. Graham willingly in his ministry, though she preferred her role behind the scenes.
Rev. Graham’s love and respect for his wife were evident in her final days. In a statement released by Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) the day before her death, he said, “Ruth is my soul mate and best friend, and I cannot imagine living a single day without her by my side. I am more in love with her today than when we first met over 65 years ago as students at Wheaton College.”
Preaching year after year to millions of people through the Billy Graham Crusades, and serving as a spiritual counselor to political leaders, required much of Rev. Graham’s time and energy. While he was ministering to presidents and diplomats, Ruth was ministering to him. Rev. Graham once said, “I have been asked the question, ‘Who do you go to for counsel, for spiritual guidance?’ My answer: my wife, Ruth. She is a great student of the Bible. Her life is ruled by the Bible more than any person I’ve ever known.”
The poetry she wrote, the books she authored, the lives she touched, the husband she loved, and the godly children she raised, are all testaments to Mrs. Graham. Ruth Bell Graham left a godly heritage here on earth and a legacy vividly pointing to the God she loves and the place she now calls home.
Thanks to Crosswalk.com for this article’s usage.