If I knew that I was soon to be executed in just a matter of days, my emotional state might resemble this lady in the picture above. However I just finished reading a book entitled Karla Faye Tucker -Set Free. It is the true story of a woman who committed a heinous, unspeakable crime and was sentenced to die. She murdered two people while they were sleeping when she was just nineteen years old. She spent approximately fourteen years on death row before being executed in the state of Texas in 1998. The story at the time was headline news and I vaguely remembered it as I picked the book of the shelf at the used book store ( my favorite haunt.) This blog is not about the topic of capital punishment and whether that is right or wrong. That is a discussion for another day. What arrested me about this story was the fact that Karla Faye Tucker faced her death with grace, dignity, but most arresting to me was the pure joy and eagerness that she possessed knowing that she was going to meet her Savior in heaven once she was strapped onto that gurney and the needle was inserted into her vein. She could not wait to see Jesus and to be with Him.

Many reading this are aghast that such a person would think that they were on their way to heaven after killing others. However, she was completely assured of her salvation. She rejoiced in it, she gloried in her relationship with the Lord and when it came time for her execution, she jumped up on that table and said her last words. She turned to the victims' families and told them how deeply sorry that she was for her crime and expressed that she truly hoped that they would get some measure of peace by witnessing her death. She thanked the warden of where she spent the last fourteen years on death row ( which she always referred to as life row) and also expressed love towards many fellow inmates that she had led to Christ during her incarceration. She also told her friends, her family, her husband who she married while in prison that she loved them and that she would be waiting for them on the other side. Then she laid down with a slight smile on her face, said " I am going to see Jesus face to face now" and closed her eyes and began humming softly. She received her lethal injection and was pronounced dead in just a few short minutes after that.

One of the reviews on the cover of the book claimed that anyone who was a believer who read it would not fear death nearly as much as they did before after reading the book. I can honestly concur with that assessment. This was a real lady, who lived a horrific life , who committed an even more horrific crime, yet lived a life of victory during her entire time as a prisoner. Why is that? Because shortly after she was arrested , she came to know Christ as her personal Savior. She was not just one of these people who professed Christ one year and was professing something else a year later. No, she lived it, and the joy of Jesus was shining through her throughout those long years on death row,

This read has impacted me more than just about any other book that I have read in recent years. This was an individual who KNEW her Lord, who was one hundred percent confident of where she was going when she took her last breath and it showed. I invite you to google in Karla Faye Tucker interviews and watch them. She was interviewed in a five part series of tapes where she answers questions, leaves messages for fellow inmates, for loved ones, but also for anyone who will listen about her faith, her God, and the eternity that she was soon to be entering. I cannot stop thinking about it. This book has encouraged me, increased my faith and decreased my fear. Do yourself a huge favor and get a copy of it. You won't be sorry.