One day, when
I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was
walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was
carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, "Why would
anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a
nerd." I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football
game with my friends tomorrow 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 and 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
at me and said, "Hey thanks!". There was a big smile on
his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
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 his books. He turned out to be a
pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on
Saturday with me and 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, "Dang boy, you are gonna really build some serious
muscles with this pile of books everyday!" He just laughed
and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I
became best friends. When we were seniors, 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 never
be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for
business on a football scholarship. 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.
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 me 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
at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and
smiled. "Thanks," he said.
started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began.
"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."
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 it's depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions.
With one small gesture you can change a person's life.
or for worse. God puts us all in each other's lives to impact one
another in some way. Look for God in others.