Ruth Graham, daughter of world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham, talks about her new book “Forgiving My Father, Forgiving Myself: An Invitation to the Miracle of Forgiveness.”
Father Dave starts by noting how Jesus’ ministry focused largely on those who were in need of healing. He connects this to Graham’s ministry, which acknowledges everyone’s need for healing and builds upon that in order to forgive those who have hurt us.
Graham takes this further, explaining that forgiveness is not about us but about God’s character. Father Dave clarifies that forgiveness is separate from reconciliation, which Graham notes is not always possible. She explains, “We can make the choice to forgive, but that doesn’t mean that that person is going to be our best friend or that we’re going to reconcile with them.”
Father Dave and Graham also talk about the distinctions between forgiveness and justice. Graham relates this to the brother of deceased Dallas man Botham Jean, who Graham believes legitimately forgave the officer who killed Jean, but that in the coming weeks and months there will be a torrent of conflicting emotions about that forgiveness. “We have to realize that… emotions don’t tell the truth. Only God’s word tells the truth.” They go on to discuss that forgiveness does not mean the absence of justice. Forgiveness just allows healing to take place.
Graham adds to the notion of God’s truth, saying that we are able to experience God’s forgiveness by being honest and transparent with him. She follows this up by explaining one instance of forgiveness in her own life.
“My relationship with my daughter was very strained for years. She had two babies out of wedlock, and at that time I was so upset,” she says. Graham’s daughter distanced herself from Graham. “But my husband was in a terrible accident … she came down to help me and we began to heal. During that time, she and I were invited to speak at a pro life event … As I listened to her, tears streamed down my face as she told what God had done in her life, and healing took place. We are as close today as we have ever been and to me, that’s a miracle… God has been so faithful and gracious. If we take the steps to follow his ways, there’s nothing like it.” (Original Air 11-11-19?)