LOVED ON DEATH ROW
"At 3:00 a.m. on June 13, 1983, Karla Fay Tucker and her boyfriend, Danny Garret, both high on drugs, committed a brutal double homicide while trying to steal a motorcycle. Thirty-five days later they were arrested and ultimately sentenced to be executed for their heinous crime.
In many ways, this tragic event in Tucker's life was simply the lowest point in a disturbing life story. She grew up in a home with parents who constantly fought and eventually divorced. She used drugs for the first time when she was seven. By the time she reached the seventh grade she was using drugs heavily and dropped out of school. By the age of fourteen, she had followed her mother into prostitution. She married and divorced and continued her life in a downward spiral until that fateful June night.
While awaiting her trial, Karla Fay finally met Christ and realized that despite her horrendous deed, immoral lifestyle, and hardened heart, God still loved her. She began a fourteen-year odyssey on death row at the Mountain View Prison in Gatesville, Texas. During her time in prison, she began to study her Bible and took the course Experiencing God. Prison officials credited her with saving two inmates from committing suicide and encouraging numerous other people.
Tucker's case gained national attention, and she was interviewed by Larry King on national television. At the close of their interview, King said, “Finally, you remain up.” Tucker said “Yes.” Then King asked, “Can you explain that to me a little more? It can't just be God.” She smiled and replied, “Yes, it can. It's called the joy of the Lord. When you've done something like I have done and you've been forgiven for it and you're loved—that has a way of so changing you. I have experienced real love. I know what forgiveness is, even when I've done something so horrible. I know this because Jesus forgave me when I accepted what He did on the cross. When I leave here, I'm going to be with Him.
Ultimately, Tucker's appeals ran out and she was executed on February 3, 1998, the first woman to be executed in Texas in more than a hundred years. To the very end, she remained true to the God who had forgiven her. Her last words were: “I love you all very much. I will see you all when you get there. I will wait for you.”
Tucker realized that even when everything else is taken from you, you have all you need when you have Christ. Even when you are in the darkest, most hopeless situations, the love of God is more than sufficient to give you hope and life.
Fortunately, Tucker saw that the most important thing in life was her relationship with Christ. Even as her executioner injected lethal drugs into her system, Tucker hummed praise songs to God. Unfortunately, many people spend their lives and never come to realize the profound truth that God loves them.
Experiencing God, by Henry & Richard Blackaby and Claude King
I hope this inspires you as well, my friends!