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 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
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 books everyday! " He just laughed and handed me
half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best
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 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 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 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."
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 it's 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