Q&A with Billy Graham Adapted from the Foreword to Treasured Moments with Mother Graham
Mothers have a profound influence on their children, including those children who impact their world profoundly as Billy Graham has done. Now readers can see inside the dynamic faith of Billy Graham’s mother, Morrow Coffey Graham, known as “Mother Graham,” in a new devotional book.
“The influence of a mother upon the lives of her children cannot be measured,” writes Billy Graham. “They know and absorb her example and attitudes when it comes to questions of honesty, temperance, kindness, and industry.”
For the last two years of Mother Graham’s life, Rose Adams was the daily caregiver for Mother Graham, providing physical care and companionship. But Adams never dreamt the profound impact Mother Graham would have on her spiritually. Writes Adams in the preface:
“When I arrived at the Graham home in September 1979, Mother Graham welcomed me as a friend, not a caregiver. I embraced her not as an invalid (for she was still mobile), but a mother and a teacher. Whenever she had visitors and prayed for them, she ended her prayers by saying, ‘Precious Father, may all those who enter our home be blessed.’ I certainly was.”
Adams decades later would visit Billy Graham, telling him stories and memories of Mother Graham and how every conversation would lead back to God and the Bible. Billy Graham asked Rose Adams to put these recollections together in a book, knowing many readers would draw comfort and strength by seeing how one younger woman learned so much from an older one. This devotional is perfect for anyone who is a mother, a caregiver or who is facing the last days of life.
Q: Tell us about Rose Adams, the author of this new book?
A: Rose Adams is a wonderful Christian woman who cared for my mother, Morrow Coffey Graham, in her last years of life. It was in the two-story brick house (now located at the site of the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina) that Rose lived with my mother and shared a great amount of time studying the Scriptures and praying for the needs of so many.
Q: Tell me about your time with Rose Adams.
A: Before Ruth died, Rose paid us a visit. Ruth and I loved to hear her talk—the North Carolina drawl as distinctive as the rasping voice that is unmistakably Rose Adams. We loved the stories she told about her time with my mother. Our hearts were moved as she recounted lessons learned, in her own words “while sitting at Mother Graham’s feet,” always bringing daily conversation around to what “the Bible says.” This is how they passed the time, and how rich it was.
Q: How did that visit lead to the writing of Treasured Moments with Mother Graham?
A: Sometime after our visit together, I asked Rose if she would put the memories of her time with Mother on tape. The stories that Rose had so carefully preserved for me take on a gentle humor. After Ruth died, I found myself listening to this tape more frequently, remembering the gleam in Ruth’s eyes as she chuckled at the array of stories Rose told. But it also seemed as though I could hear my mother’s voice recalling Scripture as Rose recited Mother’s favorite passages.
I asked Rose for permission to print these special moments in a book, for I felt that many would draw comfort and strength from an inside look at the younger learning from the older. This is something very scriptural. “Suffering should not make us bitter people,” my mother once said, “it should make us better comforters.” Young people need to hear this from those who have walked before them, because someday they’ll be walking those same steps but there may not be anyone following behind.
Q: Tell me about the caregivers in your life.
A: In recent years, as Ruth and I grew older, we both learned something about caregivers. The most effective and loving are those who have already walked a few miles through the valley of shadows and been drenched in tears that have fallen from clouds of darkness.
Check out this devotional now.