One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a
kid from my class who was walking home from school.His name was Kyle.It looked like he was carrying all of his
I thought to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his
books on a Friday?He must really be a
I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football
game with my friends that afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids
running toward him.
They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he
landed in the dirt.His glasses went
flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness
in his eyes.
My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he
crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye.
As I handed him his glasses, I said, "Those guys are
jerks.They really should get lives."
He looked at me and said, "Hey thanks!"
There was a big smile on his face.It
was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.I helped him pick up his books, and asked him
where he lived.As it turned out, he
lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before.He said he had gone to private school before
now.I would have never hung out with a
private school kid before.
We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his
books.He turned out to be a pretty cool
kid.I asked him if he wanted to play a
little football with my friends.He
said yes.We hung out all weekend and
the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the
same of him.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge
stack of books again.I stopped him and
said, "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of
He just laughed and handed me half the books.Over the next four years, Kyle and I became
When we were seniors we began to think about college.Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke.I knew that we would always be friends, that
the miles would neverbe a problem.He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football
Kyle was valedictorian of our class.I teased him all the time about being a nerd.
He had to prepare a speech for graduation.I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak.
Graduation day, I saw Kyle.He looked great.He was one of those guys that really found
himself during high school.He filled
out and actually looked good in glasses.He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him.Boy, sometimes I was jealous!
Today was one of those days.I could see that he was nervous about his
speech.So, I smacked him on the back
and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!"
He looked at me with one of those looks (the really
grateful one) and smiled.
"Thanks", he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and
"Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make
it through those tough years.Your
parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach... but mostly your
friends...I am here to tell all of you
that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them.I am going to tell you a story."
I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day
we met.He had planned to kill himself
over the weekend.He talked of how he
had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was
carrying his stuff home.
He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.
"Thankfully, I was saved.My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."
I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome,
popular boy told us all about his weakest moment.I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and
smiling that same grateful smile.Not
until that moment did I realize its depth.
Never underestimate the power of your actions.With one small gesture you can change a
person's life for better or for worse.
God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one
another in some way.
Look for God in others.
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