This article originally appeared as the first of Ruth Graham's By the Way columns in the May 8, 1981 issue of Christianity Today.

With this issue, we begin a new column by Ruth Bell Graham, brief snippets—observations, reflections—out of her life. Homemaker, author (Sitting by My Laughing Fire, Word, 1977), wife of evangelist Billy Graham, her brief, pithy comments will add a new dimension to Christianity Today.

Discussing the column in a recent letter to CT she shared the following experience quite literally out of her life as she wrote the words of this first column on the subject of pressure:

I had no sooner gotten started when I got word that a Chinese pastor and his wife I had been permitted to call on in China had been reimprisoned by the antitheistic regime because of something I had said to them. I placed a call to a nearby office, only to have the rumor confirmed (later found false).

I hadn't gotten over the shock when I got a call from a young friend about to be released from prison. He a great guy, with real potential, but he sounded as if he were experiencing the spiritual "bends" at the prospect of facing the real world again He needed reassurance and a lead to a job. A call to Chuck Colson's office fixed that one up.

I had just settled back to pontificate about pressure when I got a call that a lady had shot and killed herself at the home of a friend down the mountain. Would I come? Gathering old towels, cleaning material, and bunch of plastic bags, I headed down. A man from the rescue squad was doing a first-rate job of cleaning and helped me stuff the bedspreads and curtains into the trunk of my car before the two young girls got back from school. When they returned, I gathered them and their mother ...

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