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If anyone had a reason to feel good about themselves it was Ruth Bell Graham. She was the daughter of missionaries to China, where she lived through her childhood. She was the wife of Billy Graham, whose ministry to the world has possibly had more impact than any other individual in history. T. W. Wilson, an associate evangelist to Graham said, “There would have been no Billy Graham, as we know him today, had it not been for Ruth.” She was a faithful and outstanding mother — raising children who have faithfully followed the Lord, and many of whom are in full time Christian ministry. At her memorial service, her pastor, Richard White, said, “If you’re here today and say, ‘Ruth Graham was a great woman,’ you missed the point of her life. The reason Ruth Graham was a great woman is because she had a great Savior and a great love for Jesus Christ.” Many do not realize that Ruth was involved in prison ministry, going to the least and the lost. She fed many of them in her home after they were released. I was impressed that she was buried in a simple plywood casket — the same kind of casket in which the prisoners are buried. The man who led the team who made the casket was called “Grosshopper.” He had come to know the Lord while serving 31 years in prison for murder. Ruth could have easily looked down her nose at these sinners and been glad they were getting what was coming to them, but instead she saw herself as an object of grace along with them. She went to them and ministered to them in humility. She wanted them to come to know the Christ she loved and served so faithfully. For that reason, Billy Graham said at his wife’s funeral, “It doesn’t seem to me like we’re at a place of burial. I feel like it is a place of rejoicing.”

May it be so with us.

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