Forgiving Enemies, Becoming Friends


After a twenty-four-hour shift, firefighter and EMT Matt Swatzell fell asleep at the wheel, crashing into another vehicle. As a result, June Fitzgerald was killed, along with the baby she was carrying in utero. Amid his grief and pain over the loss of his wife, Erik Fitzgerald found space to pray for the man who had accidently killed his partner and unborn child. Out of this prayer, a friendship was born that pushed Swatzell to plead for a lighter prison sentence for Matt and to meet regularly with him as a friend. This led to healing in both men’s lives (Ryann Blackshere, “Widower Forges Friendship with Man in Crash That Killed Wife, Unborn Baby, Today, February 3, 2014, Christ models forgiveness, even to those who have hurt us—turning our enemies into our friends.