Footprints of a Pilgrim (book review)

Footprints of a Pilgrim:  The Life and Loves of Ruth Bell Graham, is what I would call a coffee table book because of its larger size and abundance of photographs.  It is considered a biography although the author credit goes to Ruth Bell Graham.  It is largely the work of her children, mostly daughter Gigi Tchividjian.  It is 192 pages in length.  The publication date is July, 2007 which is about one month after Bell’s death.  Thomas Nelson is the publisher.

The book travels from Bell’s birth in China to missionary parents.  Her father was a medical missionary.  It was interesting to hear of her maturing while a missionary child in Asia in the 1930’s.  She attended a missionary school in North Korea then came to the United States for post-secondary education.  She met her husband, the now famous Billy Graham while in Wheaton College.  The book then follows the winding pathway that most marriages take in the early years.  Bell struggles early in the marriage just as many new brides struggle.  Her transparency in the book is certainly appreciated by this reader.

This volume contains much of the author’s poetry.  It was the poetry that attracted me to the book.  The poetry shows her heart far better than other things written about her.  It shows a depth of character seen by no other avenue.  She kept a journal most of her life in which most of the poetry took birth.

Whether you approve of Ruth Bell Graham or not, this book will cement your real feelings about her by the time you finish reading it.  In years to come, however, I predict that it will go out of print and will be found only in used bookstores or on the shelves of Goodwill stores or at garage sales.  Ruth Bell Graham’s identity is tightly connected to her husband although she certainly deserves a place of her own.  She truly was a woman of uncommon strength.

I read the Kindle edition of the book so I didn’t get a very clear look at the pictures.  I recommend the hardcover copy if you are looking for a pictorial view or particularly for the poetry.



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