Remember Terry

And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. They were glad and agreed to give him money. So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.

When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him.

And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”

And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.  Luke 22: 3 – 6, 14, 19 – 23

On the day he (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) was betrayed, Judy Clarke, attorney for the accused, stood up in a court of law and in opening remarks said “It was him…”

How I wish the news wires would have described what happened next this way:

Tsarnaev leapt to his feet. “LIAR!” he shouted at a stunned Clarke. “How DARE you!” The entire defense team was now on its feet, attempting to restrain their client but still he continued “GET – OUT – OF – THIS – COURTROOM! YOU’RE FIRED!!!”

The room was now in chaos. A red-faced Judge O’Toole banged the gavel again and again in a futile attempt to restore order…

Sadly, we all know it did not happen that way.

They must have had him in the most unimaginable corner. I can only guess what had been done and said to Dzhokhar to keep him there as Clarke betrayed him from several feet away.

I have been that broken.

There comes a point when you can no longer feel the blows, when they fall and the pain can only be felt in some remote part of you that can no longer be accessed. When the work of brokenness is complete, you sit there in numb silence and your silence looks, to those watching, like apathy, like agreement, when nothing could be further from the truth.

In a previous post, “David, Goliath and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,” I said a “David” is coming to slay the “Goliath” in this case. In that post I stated the obvious identity of Goliath but I did not name this “David” for at that time, I did not know…

Now, I do.

The “David” that is coming is Dzhokhar himself. With the fire of God in him, he will rise up in his own defense. In that day, in that courtroom, nothing will stop him. There will be no repeat performance by a “Judy Clarke.” He will make sure of that, for in the months leading up to his next trial, Dzhokhar will take an active role with his defense team. He will begin calling the strategic shots. There will be no more “It was him” moments that no one saw coming. Jesus will set this boy on fire inside.

Dzhokhar wants to live – and he is going to. It is one thing to accept, for the present, what one cannot change. But temporary  acceptance, having wisely assessed a current situation one is in, is not resignation, for resignation has ceased to hope.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

I have been praying in the power of the Holy Spirit, in tongues, for Dzhokhar, for nearly two weeks now and the intensity of my commitment to continue is only increasing.

I want to share a story I heard more than a decade ago. I don’t recall if I have shared this story on the blog before; after 75 posts it becomes a challenge to recall everything I have already posted.

This story happened long before the existence of 911, Amber Alerts and cell phones. I heard it while driving in my car one evening. A woman was being interviewed on the radio and I happened to turn to the channel at random just as she began. I no longer recall the woman’s name, the man’s last name or the state in which this took place. Perhaps that is why repeated attempts to find the story via Google have so far been unsuccessful.

I do remember two important things. First, it is a powerful example of the beauty and reality of redemption. Second, it is a gripping example of what God can do through someone who prays, at His urging, in tongues for an extended period of time.

I begin now with the story, as if the woman who lived through it is speaking:

I remember God telling me to get “prayed up” that morning so I began praying in tongues. I had been praying in tongues for hours when I decided to go to the grocery. As I was loading my car, I was abducted from the parking lot of the local Walmart.

My abductor was a rapist and serial killer; I fit the physical profile of his victims. My husband, who was the chief of police, and his men had received a tip this man was back in the area and they were actively hunting him. Later that evening, when I did not return home, my husband’s concern deepened. He had no way of knowing, but I had indeed been abducted by the man they hunted.

His name was Terry.

In those first minutes, I was desperate to stay calm and continued to pray in tongues silently, asking the Lord what He wanted me to do. Terry kept me with him for three terrifying days, driving around, stopping now and then in out-of-the-way places.

During this time he would go in and out of agitation. When he did, I could feel that I was in immediate danger; Terry was getting worked up to kill me.

Each time, the Lord would give me wisdom, showing me what to say to calm him down. I felt like I was making progress only to see him go into this murderous, agitated state again and again.

At last, after so many conversations, still silently praying in tongues, I found the key that unlocked Terry’s heart. Finally, I was able to say something that opened Terry up to the truth of God as a loving father, who loved him like his earthly father had not.

In tears, Terry prayed to receive Jesus and the transformation was real. The anger, the agitation, the desire to rape and murder left him. He became quiet.

After some time, I told him: “Terry, you know what you have to do… you’ve done terrible things. You have to turn yourself in.”

To my amazement, he agreed without hesitation, asking only that I stay with him until a phone call could be made to law enforcement, telling them where they could find him.

When I left him, he was sitting alone on a park bench. Bullets and empty guns littered the ground around his feet.

He looked peaceful as I drove away just like we had agreed I would.

They found Terry on that park bench, right where he’d said he would be, and took him into custody without incident…

He was convicted of thirteen murders and given the death penalty.

Terry’s conversion was real. During his time on death row, he led countless men to faith in Jesus. He touched the lives of inmates, guards and warden alike.

Before his execution, I received a call that Terry was asking to see me one last time…

On the day of his execution, the warden and all the guards were in tears. It was painful for them to watch the death of such a changed and godly man.

In a prior post I said if I were the warden of a prison that “There Would Be Music.”

The simplest things can unlock the hardest of hearts. I saw this when I reached over and began to rub, pat, and scratch my daughter’s back while she launched a verbal rant against me. The woman who was abducted by Terry saw it at the moment of his conversion.

As I have continued praying in tongues over the last two weeks, faces and names have come to mind. When they do, I know I am interceding for that particular person. It happened with Richard Reid, the convicted shoe bomber who is also incarcerated in the ADX with Dzhokhar.

When I read about Richard, about how angry and unrepentant he remains even after ten years in solitary confinement, I was curious as to why God had put it on my heart to pray for him. And then I recalled something I learned while still married to a very emotionally abusive man:

Underneath anger lies hurt – deep, deep hurt. It was true of my ex-husband, it is true of my daughter, and it is true of Richard Reid.

If I were warden of the ADX, I would play “The Fiddler” by Tim Sheppard for the inmates on a daily basis.

I believe that, over time, the words and music of this beautiful song would unlock prisons far deeper and darker than those of the ADX – those prisons carried within the human heart. I can see men stopping their reading, stopping their writing, stopping their pacing to listen…

One woman’s simple act of obedience brought beauty from the ashes of a serial killer’s life. What will come from my continuing to pray in tongues for Dzhokhar? I believe “David” will rise from the ashes of his and when he does, he will turn this case upside down.

The Fiddler

By: Tim Sheppard

Fiddler, you play your song all through the city

No one seems to notice, no one seems to understand

Somewhere you have cried, I hear it deep inside

Now I see you smile

What makes your song so full of love?

Play your song just a little louder

Seems I’ve heard it before

Tell me, have you ever been to a place called lonely before?

Perhaps that’s where we met

Somewhere in the past

Seems I used to know the song you’re playing…

Fiddler, tell the words so I can hear

Maybe I’ll recall the song I lost throughout the years

Seems I’ve always cried for love and peace inside

How I’d love to smile and play a song so full of love

Play your song just a little louder

Seems I’ve heard it before

Tell me, have you ever been to a place called lonely before?

Perhaps that’s where we met

Somewhere in the past

Seems I used to know the song you’re playing…

Fiddler, now I seem to understand

How you play the song even with nail scars in your hands

Now I finally see your love was meant for me

Now I laugh and love and play your song within my heart

Play your song just a little louder

Yes, I’ve heard it before

Tell me have you ever been to a place called Calvary before?

That’s where we finally meet

You’ve made my life complete

Now I’ll sing the song that you’ve been playing

Play your song…

Yes, Jesus loves me

Yes, Jesus loves me

Yes, Jesus loves me

The Bible tells me

My new song tells me

The Fiddler told me so


6 thoughts on “Remember Terry”

  1. Captivating blog Lynn. Prayers make miracles and I know you praying in tongues and the prayers from others who support Jahar will create such an impact that they will break the chains that are keeping Jahar contained in that hell hole. I can’t imagine what was going through Jahar’s mind and heart as the woman he trusted gave up on him and turned him in when she said ‘it was him’. Those words must have felt like a dagger hitting his heart . Being on death row must be tough and hard for any prisoner especially an innocent young man. Fiddler would be a perfect song to play if you were a warden at ADX…and I bet in a soft fragile voice Jahar would say….’Play your song just a little louder’…..beautiful heartfelt blog Lynn. Luvin the song❤

    1. It hit my heart hard when I read “and I bet in a soft fragile voice Jahar would say… ‘Play your song just a little louder.'” Thank you for that beautiful, though painful thought.

      1. You are welcome Lynn. That is what I imagine Jahar saying as that song is being played. Being under SAMS for years I imagine music would be comforting to his heart and soul. I imagine him feeling those soothing sounds of music through the steel doors and asking it to be turned up a little louder….Didn’t mean to have your heart hit hard but it just shows how much compassion you have for this innocent young man. 💞

  2. In support of Dzhokhar, who, God is always with, I am going to change my FB cover page on 19th April with a sign of Abolish the Death Penalty. Governments have no right to take anyone ‘s life. Only God has that right. And Jahar survived that night and he has God’s protection. So all his supporters have faith!!!!!.

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