Ruth Graham's story
Billy Graham’s youngest daughter, Ruth Graham, gave what was arguably the afternoon’s most powerful speech at his funeral.
In describing her parents’ attempts to warn her against rushing into a second marriage, Ruth Graham remembers “being stubborn, willful and sinful.”
“I married this man ... and within 24 hours, I knew I’d made a terrible mistake. After five weeks, I fled. I was afraid of him,” said Graham. As she fought back tears, voice quavering, she continued: “What was I gonna say to Daddy? ... I’d been such a failure. What were they gonna say to me? ‘We’re tired of foolin’ with you. We told you not to do it. You’ve embarrassed us.’ And let me tell you – you women will understand – you don’t want to embarrass your father.
“You really don’t want to embarrass Billy Graham.”
Many in the crowd laughed, through tears, with Ruth Graham.
“As I wound myself up the mountain, I rounded the last bend in my father’s driveway, and my father was standing there waiting for me.” She paused to compose herself. “As I got out of the car, he wrapped his arms around me and he said, ‘Welcome home.’ There was no shame. There was no blame. There was no condemnation. Just unconditional love. And, you know, my father was not God. But he showed me what God was like that day. When we come to God with our sin, our brokenness, our failure, our pain and our hurt, God says, ‘Welcome home.’
“And that invitation,” she said, smiling again, “is open for you.”
BY THÉODEN JANES The Charlotte ObserverMarch 03, 2018 07:01 PM
Updated March 03, 2018 10:12 PM