An Invitation to the White House
by Noah Hefley
October 24, 2020
Peggy Noonan, noted author and political speech writer, shares a delightfully positive and uniquely refreshing story which comes straight out of Washington D.C. from a few years ago and I think you will welcome it in the midst of a downright nasty political season.
Francis Green, at the time, was an 83 year old woman who lived by herself on social security in a town just outside San Francisco. She had little money, but for eight years she had been sending one dollar a year to the Republican National Convention because she loved Ronald Reagan.
Then one day she got an RNC fund-raising letter in the mail, a beautiful piece on thick, cream-colored paper with black and gold lettering. It invited the recipient to come to the White House to meet President Reagan. She never noticed the little RSVP card that suggested a positive reply needed to be accompanied by a generous donation. She thought she had been invited because they had appreciated her dollar a year support.
Frances scraped up every cent she had and took a four-day train ride across America. Unable to afford a sleeper, she slept sitting up in coach. Finally, she arrived at the White House gate, a little elderly woman with white hair, white powder all over her face, white stockings, an old hat with white netting, and an all-white dress, now yellow with age. When she got up to the guard at the gate and gave her name, however, the man frowned, glanced over his official list, and told her that her named wasn’t there. She couldn’t go in. Frances Green was heartbroken.
A Ford Motor Company executive stood behind her and overheard the conversation. He pulled Frances aside and got her story. Then he asked her to return at nine o’clock the next day and meet him there. She agreed. In the meantime, the man contacted Anne Higgins, a presidential aide, and got clearance to give her a tour of the White House and maybe catch a glimpse of the president.
The next day was anything but calm at the White House. Ed Meese had just resigned. There was a military uprising abroad. Reagan was in and out of high level secret meetings and security sessions. But Frances Green didn’t know any of that and showed up with excitement and expectation at 9 am for her meeting with the president.
The Ford executive met her and gave her a tour of the White House. Then quietly walked her by the Oval Office, thinking maybe, at best, she might get a quick glimpse of the president on her way out. Members of the National Security Council came out. High ranking generals were coming and going. In the midst of all the commotion, President Reagan glanced out and saw Frances Green. With a smile he gestured her into his office.
As she entered, he rose from his desk and called out, “Frances! Those darn computers have fouled up again! If I’d known you were coming I would have come out there to get you myself.” He then invited her to sit down, and they talked leisurely about California, her town, her life and family.
The President of the United Sates gave Frances Green a lot of time that day—more time than he had. This woman had nothing to give him, but she needed something he could give her. So he took the time to be kind, gracious and compassionate. She enjoyed being in the warm and receptive presence of the President of the United States—at least on that day. (Source – Peggy Noonan)
Let this serve as a reminder of the privilege that is ours since we have far higher access than even this lady on that day because we are welcomed on any given day into the presence of Divine Royalty. As children of God through our Lord Jesus Christ we are invited to “approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). If you ask me, that beats an invitation to the White House!!
So take a few moments now to enjoy your Heavenly Audience of One and to rest in His gracious presence!
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