On Thursday’s Glenn Beck Program, Glenn sat down with Ruth Graham, the daughter of Reverend Billy Graham, for a wide-ranging interview on life, lessons, and her dad. Glenn has gotten to know Ruth very well over the last couple of years, and when Glenn attended Rev. Graham’s 95th birthday party last fall, he and Tania were seated at Ruth’s table. “I feel as though I’ve known her my whole life,” Glenn said to open the show. And over the course of the next hour, Glenn and Ruth dove deep into her personal journey and her father’s legacy.
Glenn asked Ruth if she would be willing to talk about her three marriages and divorces because people might be “shocked” to learn Rev. Graham has a daughter who is divorced three times. Ruth spoke about her marriages – which included infidelity and abuse – quite candidly, for those experiences ultimately helped form her life and her faith.
One of the most powerful moments of the interview came when Ruth described what it was like to return home to her parents after fleeing from her second husband who was abusive. Her parent’s had warned her not to marry the man, and she did so anyway. Ruth described her two-day drive back home as she wondered how she would be received. As it turns out, she was received with open arms.
“My father was standing there,” Ruth said. “And when I got out of the car, my father wrapped his arms around me and said ‘Welcome home.’”
It was that grace that changed Ruth’s life forever.
Glenn has been speaking about the importance of finding unifying principles in order to bring people together. Unfortunately, that is much easier said than done. Glenn wondered how to go about sharing and spreading truth in a way that is not divisive or alienating but inclusive and loving. “It’s about how we speak the truth,” Ruth said. And we as a people must learn to “accept people where they are and love them to the next step” as Jesus did in order to achieve that unity and peace.
In the last couple of weeks, Rev. Graham’s condition has deteriorated and improved several times, and it is unclear how much time he has left. Ruth and her siblings have come to terms with the fact that each time they see their father it may very well be the last, but she is actually quite excited for her father to return home to God.
Ruth explained that when he mother passed away, she was sorting through some of her things with her sister. At one point, they entered there father’s room and in that moment realized he had no earthly possessions of real value.
“My sister looks at me and says, ‘The man of God doesn’t care about the things of the world,’” Ruth said of that moment. “I said, ‘You know, that is right,’ and I hope that will be said of me at some point. The worldly things are not what is important. It was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our father gave his life for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That will be his legacy – change lives”
It is that peace of mind that allows Ruth to look at the end of her father’s life with great joy. She believes his arrival in heaven will be a great celebration of the life he lived.
“He wants to hear ‘well done,’” Ruth said of what will happen when he father comes face to face with God. “And he will.”