Presenting another, more human view of Billy Graham, Ruth Grapham often referred to him as “Puddleglum,” the Marsh-wiggle in The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis. For those who have not read the Chronicles of Narnia, or who do not remember Puddleglum, a typical interchange between Puddleglum and his friends reads like this:
“Good-by, dear Puddleglum,” said Jill going over to the Marsh-wiggle’s bed. “I’m sorry we called you a wet blanket.”
“So’m I,” said Eustace. “You’ve been the best friend in the world.”
“And I do hope we’ll meet again,” added Jill.
“Not much chance of that, I should say,” replied Puddleglum. “I don’t reckon I’m very likely to see my old wigwam again either. …”
With insight into the true character of Puddleglum, Jill concludes: “Puddleglum! You’re a regular old humbug. You sound as doleful as a funeral and I believe you’re perfectly happy. And you talk as if you were afraid of everything, when you’re really as brave as—as a lion.”
With similar optimism, Ruth Graham concluded: “I’m married to a Puddleglum. And yet he turns out to be the most sterling character I’ve ever known.”
Ruth relates an amusing anecdote regarding her own Puddleglum:
We landed at the Miami airport. Bill had to stay, while I was to fly home. He checked the weather and learned it was not good in Atlanta, Georgia, where I would have to change planes for Asheville, North Carolina.
“You probably won’t be able to land,” he predicted. “If not, I don’t know where you will go—probably on to New York City. But if they try to land, I hope you make it; Atlanta is one of the busiest airports in the United States. And if you do, I’d advise you to spend the night in a motel—if you can get a room, which I doubt—as a lot of planes will be grounded and the motels will be full. In that case, rent a car, if you can get one, and drive home. But drive carefully because. …”
You guessed it … “You could have a wreck.”
– Elizabeth R. Skoglund, Found Faithful: The Timeless Stories of Charles Spurgeon, Amy Carmichael, C.S. Lewis, Ruth Bell Graham, and Others. Click here to purchase on Amazon.