Pro Soccer Player Experiences Forgiveness After Fatal Drunk Driving Accident

Pro Soccer Player Experiences Forgiveness After Fatal Drunk Driving Accident

By Movieguide® Contributor

Former pro soccer player Matthew Maher sat down with Faithwire to talk about how his biggest mistake took one life and almost ruined his.

“I tore my ACL in meniscus on March 1, 2009. That was my last professional soccer game that I would ever play. Six days later, unfortunately and recklessly, I made the decision to go out and about in the city of Philadelphia on a Friday evening that melted into the early hours of March 7… where I was recklessly responsible for an at-fault drunk driving fatality,” Maher said.

Maher “remembers being in a mental haze, thinking of his looming surgery in the coming week to repair his knee. Maher decided to go out for the night without a plan to distract himself,” author Jennifer Garman wrote.

The accident took the life of Hort Kap, a father of six.

“Just like that, everything that I thought was my identity in life completely became stripped away. So my world exploded. Not to mention somebody else’s world—a family who I did not know at the time—their world imploded,” Maher said.

At Maher’s court hearing, one of Kap’s sons told Maher that the accident “destroyed his world.” But Maher didn’t predict what happened next.

“A composure came over this young man that only heaven could provide, and his very next statement to me was, ‘But I forgive you, my brother,’” Maher recalled. “And he came over to me right in the courtroom…and him and I embraced and hugged, and I tell you the truth, guys, all that weight, all that guilt that I carried into the courtroom, it completely evaporated; it completely melted away. And, in that moment, before I would be physically incarcerated…I was spiritually liberated.”

That moment with Kap’s son became the first turning point for Maher.

“Before I spent even a single second as an inmate in the state of New Jersey, the Lord had given me something that I did not deserve, and that was forgiveness,” Maher said.

State Farm News reported, “While in prison, Matt focused on positive activities and encouraged others to do the same. He started a Bible study group, tutored fellow inmates in English, and wrote 15 books. He also kept a daily blog to chronicle his life in prison.”

“I was so grateful to be forgiven and that my God is good, and that drove me the entire duration. I can honestly say that those fifty-five months felt like fifty-five days,” Maher said.

After five and a half years in jail, Maher became a pastor, a speaker and a published author. His life is a testament to God’s mercy and redemption. Though his testimony is painful, he shares it with others to show that there is redemption in suffering.

Faithwire reported that God even redeemed March 7, 2009—the date of the accident. Maher’s wife Sarah was due with their second child in late February but didn’t go into labor until March 6, 2021.

“And as God allowed it, 11:59 on the clock turned to 12 midnight, and the hands of the clock…turned over from March 6 to March 7,” Maher said. “March 7, the day where my hands were responsible for causing suffering—my hands caused death—became the same day that God allowed and ordained my hands to receive life. My son’s birthday was Mr. Hort Kap’s death day.”

Movieguide® also reported on actor Jeremy Miller’s transformation after his DUI:

‘It’s probably the thing I’m most ashamed of in my drinking career, is how many times I put other peoples’ lives at risk by getting behind the wheel…’

For Miller, faith is what ultimately mended his broken heart…

‘The fact that God gives us that opportunity to take that pain and those struggles and use them for something good and give them a purpose is such a blessing. And in my mind, it makes all of it worth it,’ he added. ‘God’s plan—good, bad, or indifferent as it’s affecting our life at that moment—is exactly how He meant it to be. So wherever we are, whatever we’re dealing with right now, at this moment, is exactly perfect.’

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