In an article in USA WEEKEND best-selling author Patricia Cornwell wrote how she was rescued twice in her life by Ruth Graham, the wife of noted evangelist Billy Graham. The first time she was rescued was when the author's mother wrecked her car on a snowy day and ran into a ditch. It was around Christmastime and this was the last straw that the author's mother, who was newly single, could take. Her mother marched her three young children to the Graham's house and told the Grahams that she wanted them to have her children so that the children could be raised "in their kingdom." The Grahams arranged for foster care for the children with retired missionaries while Cornwell's mother was hospitalized for several months. Cornwell was very impressed at that time with how nicely Ruth Graham had welcomed complete strangers into her home.
When Cornwell was nineteen she had dropped out of college and she states she had a severe eating disorder, as well as low self-esteem. She still lived in the same town as Ruth Graham and was very grateful when Mrs. Graham took an interest in her and befriended her. Graham encouraged Cornwell in her talent as a writer. When Cornwell returned to college Graham visited her, sent her money, and encouraged her. Cornwell cites this kindness from Graham as making a great difference in the author's life as well as her success as a writer. Cornwell went on to write bestsellers such as THE LAST PRECINCT, which is a medical thriller.
Cornwell stated in the article how people do not have to help large "masses" of people in order to make a positive difference in the world. She stated that if people will simply reach out to a hurting person in their own vicinity then the world could be a better place. Cornwell also wrote that she wants to leave this world in a better state then she found it. She believes in justice as well as enlightening people. This is a mission everyone can participate in. By doing this people would help others move onward as well as helping themselves.
Cornwell, Patricia; USA WEEKEND, Dec. 15-17, 2000.