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Kissed And Tucked In


A young man cowered in the corner of a dirty,
roach infested death row cell in a South Carolina prison.
His body curled in a fetal position,
he seemed oblivious to the filth and stench around him.
His name was Rusty,
He was sentenced to die for the murder of a Myrtle Beach woman
in a crime spree that left four people dead.

Police arrested twenty-three old Rusty Welborn
from Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1979,
following one of the most brutal slayings in South Carolina history.
Rusty was tried for murder and received the death penalty for his crime.

Bob McAlister, a deputy chief of staff to South Carolina's governor,
became acquainted with Rusty on death row.
Bob had become a Christian a year or so earlier
and felt a strong call from God to minister to the state's inmates,
especially those spending their last days on death row.

Bob's first look at Rusty revealed a pitiful sight.
Rusty was lying on the floor when he arrived,
a pathetic picture of a man who believed he mattered to no one.
The only signs of life in the cell were the roaches,
which scurried over everything, including Rusty himself.
He stared blankly at Bob as he began to talk,
but did not respond.

During visit after visit, Bob tried to reach Rusty,
telling him of the Love that Jesus had for him and of his opportunity,
even on death row, to start a new life in Christ.
He talked and prayed continuously,
and finally Rusty began to respond to the stranger
who kept invading his cell.
Little by little, he opened up, until one day he began to weep
as Bob was sharing with him.
On that day, Rusty Welborn,
a pitiful man with murder and darkness behind him
and his own death closing in ahead of him,
gave his heart to Jesus Christ.

When Bob returned to Rusty's cell a few days later,
he found a new man.
The cell was clean and so was Rusty.
He had renewed energy and a positive outlook on life.
McAllister continued to visit him regularly,
studying the Bible and praying with him.
The two men became close friends over the next five years,
in fact McAlister said that Rusty grew into the son he never had,
And as for Rusty, he had taken to calling McAlister "Pap."

Bob learned that Rusty's childhood in West Virginia
had been anything but"almost heaven."
His family was destitute,
and Rusty was neglected and abused as a youngster.
School was an ordeal both for him and for his teachers.
Throughout his junior high years he wore the same two pair of pants
and two ragged shirts.
Out of shame, frustration, and a lack of adult guidance,
Rusty quit school in his ninth grade year,
a decision that was to be just the beginning of his troubles.
His teenage years were full of turmoil
as he was kicked out of his home many times
and ran away countless others.
He spent the better part of his youth living under bridges
and in public rest rooms.

Bob taught Rusty the Bible,
but Rusty was the teacher when it came to Love and Forgiveness.
This young man who had never know real Love was amazed
and thrilled about the Love of God.
He never ceased to be surprised that other people
could actually love someone like him through Jesus Christ.
Rusty's childhood enthusiasm was a breath of fresh air to Bob,
who came to realize how much he had taken for granted,
especially with regard to the Love of his family and friends.

Rusty became extremely bothered by the devastating pain
he had caused the family and friends of his victim.
Knowing that God had forgiven him,
he desperately wanted the forgiveness of those he had wronged.
Then a most significant thing happened:
the brother of the woman Rusty had murdered became a Christian.
God had dealt with him for two years about his need
to forgive his sister's killer.
Finally, he wrote Rusty a letter that offered not only forgiveness
but also Love in Christ.

Not long before his scheduled execution,
this brother and his wife came to visit Rusty.
Bob was present when the two men met
and tearfully embraced like long-lost brothers finally reunited.
Rusty's senseless crime ten years earlier
had constructed an enormous barrier between himself and the brother.
The Love of Christ obliterated that barrier
and enabled both men to realize that,
because of Him,
they truly were brothers reunited on that day.
It was a lesson Bob would not forget.

Not only did Rusty teach Bob McAlister how to Love and Forgive;
he also taught him a powerful lesson about how to die.
As the appointed day approached,
Rusty exhibited a calm and assurance like Bob had never seen.
On his final day,
with only hours remaining before his 1:00 A.M. execution,
Rusty asked McAlister to read to him from the Bible.
After an hour or so of listening,
Rusty sat up on the side of his cot and said,
"You know the only thing I ever wanted was a home, Pap.
Now I'm going to get one."

Bob continued his reading, and after a few minutes
Rusty grew still, very still.
Thinking he had fallen asleep,
Bob placed a blanket over him and closed the Bible.
As he turned to leave he felt a strong compulsion
to lean and kiss Rusty on the forehead.
A short time later, Rusty Welborn was executed for murder.
A woman assisting Rusty in his last moments
shared this postscript to his story:
As he was being prepared for his death, Rusty looked at her and said.

"What a shame that a man's gotta wait till his last night alive
to be kissed and tucked in for the very first time."

Does it seem almost unbelievable to you that a convicted killer,
a man who had brutally murdered an innocent woman
with little or no thought for consequences,
would mourn the fact that

As a child
No one kissed him;
No one tucked him in?

That is a Tragedy

This true story was copied from a book
"From Bad Beginnings to Happy Endings."
This was a book that Billy Graham sent out to all that asked for a copy.

I hope this story has touched your heart too
and that you will give Love to many others.
awww....thats so touching,....
thanks for sharing this wonderful story with us...

god bless