June 14, 2007
Anne Graham Lotz on her mother's death
"She taught me by her example that Jesus is everything."
Statement by Anne Graham Lotz in regard to the death of her mother, Ruth Bell Graham:
My Mother’s legacy in my life runs very deep … and wide. When I think of my Mother, I think of…
… her sparkling eyes--she just loved life. She was full of fun, opinions, and a zest for living that was evident until her last breath.
…her arms always outstretched to welcome me into her presence with unconditional love.
…her quips and quotes, such as:
Anne, make the most of all that comes, and the least of all that goes.
A good marriage is made up of two good forgivers.
Every cat knows some things need to be covered.
It takes two to make a fight.
God called you not to make your husband good, but to make him happy.
You can’t teach your kids to like spinach if every time they see you eating yours, you gag.
But two things stand out above all the rest. My Mother was in love with Jesus…and that love was contagious. She wasn’t caught up in religion or tradition or rituals-- she was caught up in a personal relationship with Jesus.
And she developed that relationship through hours spent reading and studying her Bible, hours spent on her knees in prayer.
Growing up, my bedroom was situated directly over hers. It didn’t matter what time I went to bed at night--I could see the light from her window reflected on the trees outside and I knew she was up. If I slipped down to her room, I would find her on her knees in prayer beside her bed. Regardless of what time I got up in the morning, I would find her at her big flat top desk, reading her Bible.
She taught me by her example that Jesus is everything. He was the wellspring of her love and joy and peace that overflowed into our home. His presence was enough to ease the pain of her loneliness without Daddy. His power was enough to get her through the day, for all practical purposes, as a single parent.
I have no doubt that the reason I love Jesus and I love my Bible is because she did…and she planted those seeds in my heart long ago.
I have been asked what I will miss most about my Mother. The answer is simple: Everything!
If I could have seen the other side of the Pearly Gates when she entered, I believe I would have seen millions of angels standing to applaud Jesus … giving Him all the glory and praise for the life of Ruth Bell Graham.