The Forgiveness Foundation was pleasantly surprised by the large number of e-mails we received regarding our Website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, coverage of the execution of Richard Lynn Bible. Bible was executed for kidnapping, murdering, and raping 9-year-old Jennifer Wilson. It was a brutal crime that polarized the camps of pro-death penalty people and anti-death penalty people.
Last week, The Forgiveness Foundation, heard from both camps, with a great deal of unflattering comments about forgiveness, God’s forgiveness. We received e-mails from people who knew the family of the victim, law enforcement and groups that really didn’t have an interest in forgiveness, God’s forgiveness of the imperfect variety that man offers. Fifty people showed up to see Richard executed, twenty of those people were family members. Jennifer’s mother and brother appeared before the Arizona Board of Pardons to encourage them to carry out Richard’s execution on June 30. Their request was carried out. Richard was executed.
Although difficult, after praying diligently for what I needed to say, I responded to every, most openly hostile to our ministry, email keeping in mind the words of Proverbs 15:1, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”(ESV) I am happy to report that everyone replied to my emails and we have begun a discourse about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying; we have begun a discourse, no has come to Jesus through this yet. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to bring our new email friends to the knowledge that Jesus is Lord that they may accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior.
Jennifer Wilson died at the age of nine. Her life was a short life by almost any standard. Her death was a tragedy that propelled her parents to reach out the Arizona legislature to enact laws to protect victims. There is an elementary school named after her in her home town of Yuma, Arizona. Now, her death, is allowing The Forgiveness Foundation to share the love of Jesus Christ with people she and I have never met.
The theme of most of the emails that I received was that the execution and eternal interment of Richard Lynn Bible to hell will grant all parties involved closure. Being a Christian I know that closure comes from Jesus Christ through forgiveness. The message I feebly attempt to share with everyone I encounter.
Among the 50 people (an extraordinarily large group of people allowed to witness an execution) attending Richard’s execution was his family. I cannot imagine what Richard’s family was thinking, feeling, as their son and brother was put to death knowing that most of the people present that day hated their son. I can’t imagine what they felt; what they thought – after all was said and done, Richard was still their son.
Please pray for Jennifer’s family, the members of Arizona law enforcement who worked on this particularly gruesome murder and Richard Bible’s family.