Franklin was a new pilot, flying a small plane from Florida to Texas. He knew his parents were worried and they’d be fervently praying for him. To put them at ease, he’d asked his instructor to go along with him. The sun had set as they flew south of Jackson, Mississippi, when suddenly the cockpit went dark. They’d lost all electrical power and their radio was out.
Meanwhile, at the Jackson airport, controller Sydney McCall had closed down operations, turned off the exterior lights, and was giving an after-hours tour of the control tower to some folks from his church. He lifted a device about size of a hair dryer, called it a light gun, and began to demonstrate. “The green light can signal a pilot who has lost radio contact that he has clearance to land.” He pointed the gun out the window, flicked the green light on…and then off. He then moved his hand to a lever. “This switch turns on the landing lights,” said Sydney, anticipating that his audience would be startled when the runway outside the windows burst into light. And they were. Then, Sydney push the lever again, and the runway returned to darkness.
In the troubled aircraft, Franklin was looking for a place to land. Suddenly he saw a green light signaling a pilot in distress. “The tower has seen us!” he said excitedly. Quickly, they hand-cranked the wheels down, headed for the green light. Right on cue, the airport runway burst into light! Franklin landed the plane. And as he taxied toward the hanger, the lights went out. “You’d think they could have left them on a bit longer,” sputtered the instructor, somewhat surprised.
But no one could have been more surprised than Sydney when the wrap-up of his tour was interrupted by someone shouting, “A plane has just landed.” “What?” he said.
And, if he was surprised at that, imagine his reaction when he found out that the young man coming through the door was Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, the famous preacher.
And what an incredible story everyone now had, exemplifying the power of godwinks and prayer.
The next time you wonder if long-distance prayer can work, think about Franklin Graham. He’ll attest to it. I’m SQuire Rushnell. Good wishes and godwinks.