I have a friend on death row in the state of Florida. We met in 1968 in Charlotte N.C. at a military induction center. We had both enlisted in the Marine Corps. Tom and I went through boot camp and Vietnam together. After we got out we stayed in touch, we became life long friends.
One night I was watching the 11 pm. news. The reporter was telling about a man who was arrested for three counts of murder. When I heard Tom’s name it floored me. We have all listened to news reports about tragedys without it affecting us.
When I heard this one I was shocked. They had arrained Tom from N.C. to Florida to stand trial.While he was in jail we were able to communicate by phone. He was convicted of three counts of murder and given the death sentence. Tom was placed on death row in 1981. It took me until 1984 to get on his visitor list because I wasn’t a relative. He has been on death row for 31 years.
Since his incarceration, both of his parents have died and all of relatives have forsaken him. My wife and I are his only contacts on the outside. He was pretty much railroaded through his trial and conviction. Basically, he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. For 31 years he has maintained his innocence and has been in the appellet system trying to get a new trial. I believe in the power of prayer and the faithfullness of God. My wife and I have been there for Tom and have shown him God’s unconditional love.
As I was meditating on what to write about, the Lord reminded me of his faithfullness. I just want to give God praise and thanksgiving. We take his faithfullness for granted at times. No matter where we are in life his faithfullness abounds. He uses people, things, and circumstances to work his goodness toward us. We need to be greatful every day for his blessings, not just one day each year.
I would ask that you remember Tom in your prayers and never take your freedom for granted.
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