In The 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, an 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 seventy 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. “Hes the bitterest enemy I have.”
“What?” cried Washington. “Youve walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in different light. Ill grant your pardon.” And he did.
Peter Miller took Michael Wittman back home to Ephratano longer an enemy but a friend.
- Lynn Jost