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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

Under Construction

A few years ago I took Mom and Mike's grandmother to the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte NC. One of the things that meant the most to me was Ruth Graham's tombstone. I decided I wanted the same words on mine one day.

The story is that Mrs. Graham saw a sign by the road: "End of Construction - Thank you for your patience." She decided then that she wanted those words on her gravestone. In 2007, Ruth Graham was buried at the foot of a cross-shaped walkway on the grounds of the Billy Graham Library and adjacent to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association ministry headquarters in Charlotte. Another fact that seemed like the humble couple was that her casket was built by prisoners at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. They were prisoners who were in for life, who wanted to give a pair of simple plywood coffins to the Grahams as an expression of their own faith.

In a letter to a small group in Macedonia, the Apostle Paul wrote, in closing, "And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone." 1 Thessalonians 5: 14 Mrs. Graham knew that we are to have patience with other's... even Christians and even our loved ones. It is not an easy thing to do when people push our buttons. Maybe we don't think they are where they need to be! Aren't we glad God does not feel that way!? God is so patient with us...everyday.

Ephesians 2: 10, "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." When we give our hearts to Jesus that is the first step. That is not the end, we are on a journey. The day we accept Jesus is not the most "Christian" we will ever be. Hopefully we will continue maturing in our relationship with God to be more Christ like.

This is why I think Mrs. Graham wanted "End of Construction" on her tombstone. God loves us just as we are. Because He loves us He wants to form us in His own image. Therefore, He is so patient with us. He knows we are under construction our whole lifetime. When we go on to our eternal home the cons

Next time you are going through a construction zone be sure to notice how bumpy the ride is. Often times it is stressful because there are less lanes, narrow lanes or several lanes merging into one lane. You may have to go very slow and sometimes you just sit still. And many times you have no idea why. All of this requires lots of patience!

I am under construction and I do thank you for your patience!

The Billy Graham Library in Charlotte NC

Ruth Bell Graham was raised in China, the daughter of missionaries so she wanted the Chinese symbol for righteousness on the stone. It is on her father's tombstone as well.

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