The Crabby Customer and The Preacher
My heart felt like it would burst as I listened to Christians call in to the Christian radio station and testify about the great preacher, Billy Graham, this week. The man of God loved people and labored across the world to share Good News.
I never met Billy. My mom and I watched one of his crusades on T.V. in the sixties. But I have my own Billy Graham story and I hope it honors him.
Years ago, Mrs. Richardson purchased a home from our office. She became ill after she moved into her new home where the master shower developed problems. Business increased and our office contractors couldn’t handle the service load. But tenacious Mrs. Richardson kept calling and seemed crabbier each time.
One afternoon after I returned from lunch, the office manager offered to give me the rest of the day off if I would visit Mrs. Richardson and assure her we would fix her shower.
When I parked my car in her driveway, I distinctly heard in my spirit that I should offer to pray on my knees with Mrs. Richardson. I dismissed that prompt. Why confuse a business call with a time of ministry, I reasoned.
The dear woman, disabled and in a wheel chair, smiled cheerfully when I entered. Her caretaker took me into the bathroom to show me the problem. I assured Mrs. Richardson that I understood her dilemma and validated her need. But I realized immediately the reason why I was sent.
The caretaker served us tea in the living room while Mrs. Richardson and I chatted endlessly and I witnessed her loneliness. I noticed the bookcase next to her wheel chair and scooted on the floor in front of the very bottom shelf where a book by Billy Graham caught my eye. I grabbed it and asked her if she liked him. She shared an emotional account of a long, lost time of hopelessness. She attended a crusade and answered the call for prayer afterward. She loved the way he prayed with compassion and authority.
I told Mrs. Richardson I, too, am a Christian but I’m no Billy Graham. However, I believe the same God Billy prayed to put us together that afternoon and asked if I could pray for her back to be healed.
“Oh, yes!” she replied. “But, honey, I can’t get on my knees.”
That’s when I realized I was, indeed, sitting on my knees right in front of her. After our time of prayer and visiting, I let myself out at the front door. Mrs. Richardson asked me to come again soon.
“The weather is so nice. We can sit outside on the patio! I can open a bottle of wine,” She offered.
I’ll never forget that afternoon and how I realized God has no limits. He’s everywhere and ready to love people and touch them where they hurt. I also became a little bit less afraid of thinking outside the box and a little more daring to allow Him to use me wherever He sees fit.