Posted by: Diane | July 19, 2013

Unfathomable Forgiveness

I’ve been watching our grandson this week so that’s kept me very busy but I managed to grab an hour this morning to work out on the elliptical machine. I had taped a Katie Couric show to keep me occupied while I exercise and I was very moved by this story that was presented on a recent show.

Twenty-year-old Megan Napier was coming home from the beach with a friend when their car was hit by a 24-year-old drunk driver named Eric Smallridge. Both girls were killed instantly. Eric was sentenced to 22 years in prison, 11 years for each young woman he killed.

In the years that followed, Megan’s mother, Renee, began to travel around to schools and churches to speak about the dangers of drunk driving. However, after a while, she realized that something was missing in her presentations. God had put it on her heart that she had not forgiven this man, who had taken the life of her daughter. She reached out and did the impossible – she reached out to Eric in prison and said, “I forgive you.” Eric’s life was completely changed because Renee forgave him. One by one, everyone in Renee’s family forgave Eric….so much so, that now, they describe Eric as being part of their family.

The story doesn’t stop there. Renee went to the court and she was able to get Eric’s sentence cut in half and he was released in November, 2012. Renee wanted Eric to have a second chance at life, so that he could join her in her presentations about drunk driving.

It’s a beautiful story about honoring God and the power of forgiveness.  Please take a few minutes and watch this video of Matthew West, the story behind the song, “Forgiveness.”

It’s a beautiful song too.

And forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. Matthew 6.12 


  1. Right? That’s forgiveness! Heard this story last year when Eric got out of jail. I was so moved. Renee’s story spoke into my own recovery and gave me more perspective on how God uses each of us to be an example of His grace & love for one another. Thanks for sharing this again Diane.

    • Yah, it’s an awesome story of grace and forgiveness, isn’t it?

  2. Always enjoy your writing, but wanted to say that you always post very powerful, meaningful songs to accompany your articles.

    • Thanks, Paul…for your encouragement. I always enjoy your insights.

  3. Hi Diane,

    This story reminds me of similar story about Corrie ten Boom. After, the war, she saw the former Nazi man who murdered her sister at a conference or somewhere. Of course, she felt angry or whatever you call it but she decided to walk to him to tell him that she forgave him. As she shook her hand with him, she felt strong God’s love thru her toward him! Not if you have already heard that. Forgiveness gives us so much freedom!

  4. I mean not sure if you have heard that before.

    • I have heard that story and you’re right – it’s a marvelous example of forgiveness.

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