“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, but fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13 ESV
As Ruth Bell Graham walked a fervent walk with the Lord, the spirit of hospitality poured graciously out of her. She demonstrated the grace and mercy of the Lord to everyone she encountered, whether it was in her writing, speaking, or acts of kindness. She was a friend to neighbors and strangers and was always willing to be a helping hand. Ruth made it a priority to seek ministry opportunities at their home in Montreat, North Carolina.
In the July 2007 issue of Decision Magazine, Tracy Taylor Bailey, conference manager at the Montreat Conference Center, recounts a time when Ruth showed her family hospitality in a time of great tribulation, “in 1993, after her husband was killed in an automobile accident, Ruth invited Bailey and her three small children to the Graham home. ‘It was like going to Grandma’s house,’ Bailey recalled. ‘She had fixed a dinner of kid-friendly food, and then she made a game, a scavenger hunt. She had taken things and hidden them throughout the house, and she gave us a list of things to look for. … We found all the things on the list, and she was just delighted, watching that.’”
Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Ruth, shares in an interview from 2002, “She has the heart of an evangelist, although her gift is often overshadowed by my father’s, Mother’s gift is exercised effectively on behalf of individuals. At her deepest core is the desire for individuals to know Christ in a personal and intimate way. My father preaches sermons to the masses, reaching thousands; my mother talks to individuals, loving them one by one.”
It is evident the deep love Ruth had for God and how she used that love from God to love and care for the Lord’s people.