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.


  1. I love this story, Mary! What a two-fold blessing that your office manager led you to Mrs. Richardson! Did the two of you have more opportunities to visit, to connect and pray? I'd love to know what became of her.

  2. I love this! I'm glad you listened and followed that prompting.

  3. What a beautiful story, Mary. I love it. Think I shall it :-D

  4. I believe prayer has the greatest chance to be answered when each prays for oneself (except of course if the person is unconscious and unable to do so). However, it is very nice when someone offers you to pray for you and or with you, as you've done for that lady in the wheelchair. In this case, both get blessed by God: the one that offers to pray, and the one that needs the prayer.
    Lovely story!

  5. What a beautiful story. I love it when God orchestrates those kind of moments!!!

  6. I can't imagine the God-given discernment Billy Graham had and his willingness to obey the Lord where he was called to go. Through his passionate service for the Lord, many heard about the Good News. That's what I learned from the Lord. He might take us to places where it's not comfortable. Scary and makes us doubt ourselves. But when we heed and ask for His leading, those scary and doubtful experiences lead actually to victories! And in those moments, that was where I found the most fulfilling spiritual lessons! It was nice for you to discern the true need from that lady. Even nowadays ring true for many sad and weary souls! I'm glad you were there and discerned the need for prayer. A vital weapon indeed to win over the spiritual enemies always ready to devour someone. Thank you for the reminder...That we have a duty to always share the Good News wherever the Lord plant us. Be it a comfortable or not kind of place. After all, it is Him Who makes everything possible. Without Him, we are nothing! God bless you sister and praying the Lord's discernment, guidance, and all of His richest blessings over you and your beautiful family. Stay strong in the Lord's mighty power!

  7. Oh dear Mary, you are such a blessing. Thank you for sharing this wonderful testimony to how God's love is spread one person at a time and how it met the need for a lonely handicapped person. xx

  8. Mary, what a beautiful testimony to God's direction and power in our lives. Being from N.C., we've had first hand coverage of Billy Graham's death and the outpouring of love from so many people. He touched many lives and was certainly used in a mighty way by God....

  9. Sweet Mary, isn't God amazing at how He works. He never makes a mistake. I just love this true story. God sent you there that day for way more than a business call! I attended a Billy Graham crusade in Jacksonville, Fla. Thousands and thousands came forward to accept Christ as their Lord. He was truly anointed. His message so simple that a child could understand. But as you said dear friend. The same Lord Billy prayed too so can we. The power of prayer is awesome. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  10. Oh, what a wonderful story! I am sure Mrs. Richardson never forgot you or that special time you shared together. So thankful for you, dear friend, and for your faithfulness to carry the Gospel with you wherever you go. We are SO sad over the loss of dear Billy Graham. He touched our lives in such a special way, too...I suppose he did that to nearly everyone in the world. I can't imagine there EVER being another one like him. Thanks for sharing your special memories.


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