There’s a great story about a California lady named Francis Green. She was 83 years old. She lived on Social Security. She had little money, but for eight years she’d been sending one dollar a year to the Republican National Convention.
Then one day Frances got an RNC fund-raising letter in the mail inviting her to the White House to meet President Reagan. She never noticed the little RSVP card that suggested a positive reply needed to be accompanied by a generous donation. She thought she'd been invited because they appreciated her dollar-a-year support.
She took a train and rode for four days across the country in coach seating to meet the President. But when she got to the White House gate, her name was not on the list. She was heartbroken.
But a Ford Motor Company executive was nearby. He talked to the guard. He spoke with a White House Presidential aide. And he said to Francis Green, "Come back here tomorrow at 9 a.m."
The next day was anything but calm and easy at the White House. Ed Meese had just resigned. There had been a military uprising abroad. Reagan was in and out of high-level secret sessions. But Frances Green showed up at nine o'clock, full of expectation and enthusiasm.
The executive met her, gave her a wonderful tour of the White House, then quietly led her by the Oval Office, thinking maybe, at best, she might get a quick glimpse of the president on her way out. Members of the National Security Council came out. High-ranking generals were coming and going. In the midst of all the hubbub, President Reagan glanced out and saw Frances Green. With a smile, he gestured her into his office.
As she entered, he rose from his desk and called out, "Frances! Those lousy computers, they messed up again! If I'd known you were coming I would have come out there to get you myself." He then invited her to sit down, and they talked leisurely about California, her town, her life and family.
The president of the United States gave Frances Green a lot of time that day--more time than he had. He knew this woman had nothing to give him, but she needed something he could give her. And so the Ford executive and the President took time to be kind and compassionate.
The President of the Universe wants to do the same thing for you! He has time for that, and He has time for you! Talk to Him about anything that's on your mind, and He will listen and respond in His sovereign timing.
(From a sermon by Marc Axelrod, Justice and Compassion For All, 8/16/2010)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Donnie Martin on Oct 14, 2002
President Clinton named Kristine Gebbie, a lesbian, as the new AIDS czar. Four months later she spelled out her perceptions on traditional morality. She said, [The United States] “needs to view human sexuality as an essentially important and pleasurable thing. [Until it does so], we will ...read more
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Nov 12, 2002
ON TOP OF THE FENCEPOST Alex Haley, the author of "Roots," had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall. It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post. When asked, "Why is that there?" Alex Haley answered, "Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words & think ...read more
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Nov 16, 2004
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT TILL IT’S GONE Our power is shut off, and suddenly we become thankful for electricity. Our garbage is not picked up, and suddenly we become thankful for the garbage collector’s weekly stop. A good friend dies, and suddenly we discover how much he meant to us. Our ...read more
Contributed by Don Jones on Oct 14, 2007
First, realize for us, "The Lord’s coming is near". For us, the believer, it is temporary while we wait for the reward. We have such a great reward coming even the streets are described as streets of gold. The kingdom of God where there will be perfect love, perfect peace, where every tear wiped ...read more
Contributed by John Quigley on Dec 8, 2007
As President Washington proclaimed the 26th of November 1789 to be a day of thanksgiving. The last paragraph reads as follows: "And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and ...read more
Contributed by Melvin Newland on Dec 20, 2000
Is prayer a first response to you? Or is it a last resort? Do you pray in an attitude of gratitude? Or are you always grumbling? When you pray, do you make sure that God receives the glory, & not you? (Powerpoints available - #137)
Contributed by Robert Massey on Nov 27, 2002
Ten lepers were healed, yet only one returned to give thanks. There are several truths that can be seen from this one who returned to give thanks that we should apply to ourselves to help us be thankful.