The gift of forgiveness

Matthew, a firefighter, fell asleep on the way home from a 24 hour shift.  When he awoke, he had caused a crash that killed 30-year-old June and her unborn son.  Left behind were her 18 month old daughter, Faith, and her husband, Erik.  What Erik did next will astound you:

You can read more about Erik and Matthew here.

These are the types of stories that explain (a) why people who subscribe to the religious part of the Judeo-Christian doctrine are happier* and (b) why I envy religious people their deep faith.


*I subscribe to the moral part of the Judeo-Christian doctrine.  While I’m no longer the atheist I was when I was young, I would be lying if I said that I believed in a personal God, the way these two men do.

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  • Ymarsakar

    This is almost like a Japanese story, if you add hara kiri in.
    Also a good way to keep awake is to inflict pain on your body, to pump up the adrenaline a bit, that tends to be a good wake up if you don’t have caffeine. Although too much caffeine destroys the nerves and can’t keep the blood toxins from the brain. Not having total alertness in the car is a substantial enough risk that you can afford a few hits to the old body, to keep it up for another hour or so. At least if your life is on the line, you should consider improving the odds.
    Chi gong, breath control, and various other martial methods were designed to be used to keep a person’s mental and physical capabilities at near maximum, until the person dies from a fatal strike in a battle. Just keep that in mind.

  • vinny

    More road accidents are caused by sleep deprived drivers than by alcohol.  If our society really wanted to decrease car related injuries, we would try to accommodate responsible behavior behind the wheel like taking a nap on the side of the road when one is too tired to drive, or perhaps allocating a room for long shift workers to sleep in prior to driving home.  When I was a resident and I worked overnight, I would sleep for several hours before driving home.  It’s not possible to do this, where I work now and it is too bad.

  • lee

    I would think it would be very cold to want to have the book thrown at an EMT who got off a 24 hour shift, a very busy 24 hour shift. This was NOT a drunk driver; it was not someone who had just been up all night for totally frivolous reasons. It was someone who had been working, saving lives. 
    Thank goodness for Erik that Matthew was a good man, though I am impressed with Matthew’s amazing ability to forgive.  A lesser man would’ve wanted the DA to throw the book at Erik. Though I am glad that I have never been in the position that Matthew was in, and I think he showed great fortitude in being true to his faith.

  • Simplemind

    IF you believe as a Christian,  you believe God sent his Son to suffer and die for our sins.  (Tortured to death)  When a Christian truly considers that Jesus  suffered  this fate for sake of salvation, it puts personal suffering in perspective.  This life is but a moment in eternity. Its the long haul that matters most.  Christians believe that in the end death itself is conquered. Not just hypothetically either.   True faith can move heavy weight. 
    As an aside, if anyone out there is suffering, depressed, anxious, addicted, I highly recommend the Rosary on a regular basis.  Download a free app and say it on your phone or kindle.   Look into the Rosary Confraternity.  It has helped many people over the centuries: no dues, voluntary, self motivated, immediate benefits. Takes between 20 and 25 minutes to say a “Rosary”.  Read up on St. Louis De Montfort who wrote a lot about the Rosary – 99c his books on Amazon.  No offense intended, but hoping to help anyone who needs it. The rosary will help anyone if you say it. 
    PS – Mary is a jewish mother, of course she will listen. 

    • Bookworm

      No offense taken, Simplemind.  If the Rosary works, that’s a wonderful thing.  (And I love the idea of a Jewish mother being willing to listen and intercede.)

  • Ymarsakar

    Compare this to Martin Trayveon and Cindy Sheehan. The Vampires on the Left feed on negative energy and despair. Like poverty in welfare, they will never let you get out of it.
    The human spirit was not created for the purpose of pleasing bored socialites on the Left, of course.
    Victimhood often feels powerful and safe in the modern era, because you can use it to emotionally manipulate people to give you what you want. True strength and the true exercise of free will, however, only comes when you stop using excuses and victimhood as a crutch. The way Christianity works is that even though God is supposed to be an omnipotent authority and creator, there’s no human that can command you to do something against God’s commandment concerning free will. So in effect, the Divine Guarantee of free will ensures that humans stay human, and do not submit to worldly vices, desires, mistakes, or authoritarian regimes/idols. Because the maximum authority is always telling you, “overcome it on your own two feet”. That’s what free will means. Allah commands you to obey and submit, the opposite of free will. When it comes to revenge and doing things you lack the power to do, then people can off shoulder the responsibility unto God’s power, abdicating the need to fix the world. This avoids some potentially negative consequences and yang energy wastage. (Long lawsuits for damage victims, tend to retard individual health recovery, vs those who settled early and got on with their rehabilitation and life. Long lawsuits also tends to make more money and bank for the lawyers)
    This feels like a Japanese story to me because it focuses on the drama between life and death, atonement of the survivors, and the belief in a higher cause or power.