Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:43-45a NIV)
Grace of Giving,” Stephen Olford tells of a Baptist pastor during the
American Revolution, Peter Miller, who lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, and
enjoyed the friendship of George Washington.
In Ephrata also lived Michael Wittman,
and evil-minded sort who did all he could to oppose and humiliate the pastor.
One day Michael Wittman was arrested for
treason and sentenced to die. Peter Miller traveled 70 miles on foot to
Philadelphia to plead for the life of the traitor.
"No, Peter," General
Washington said, "I cannot grant you the life of your friend."
"My friend," exclaimed the old
preacher, "he's the bitterest enemy I have."
"What?" exclaimed Washington.
"You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the
matter in a completely different light. I'll grant your pardon."
And that's exactly what Washington did.
Peter Miller took Michael Wittman back home to Ephrata -- no longer an enemy,
but a friend.
-- Craig Brian Larson, “Leadership Journal”