As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running towards him, knocking him down and causing all his books to fly out of his arms. His glasses went flying ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. Hence, I jogged over to him and tried to help him as he crawled around looking for his glasses with a tear in his eye. I handed him his glasses and said, “Those guys are jerks.” He looked at me and said, “Hey, thanks!”
There was a big smile on his face showing real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books and asked him where he lived. It turns out that he lived near me so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to a private school previously. We talked all the way home and I helped carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I invited him to play a little football with my friends and he agreed.
We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. He was equally popular with my friends. When Monday morning came, I saw Kyle with a huge stack of books again. I said, “Boy, you are really going to build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” He simply laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. 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 in spite of the miles separating us . He was going to be a doctor and I was going for a business degree on a football scholarship. Kyle was entrusted to prepare a speech for graduation. I was glad that it wasn’t me having to get up there and do the speech. Kyle looked great on graduation day . 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, I was jealous sometimes.
Today is one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. Hence, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of really grateful looks and smiled. “Thanks.” He said. He cleared his throat as he started his speech. “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Some people thank their parents, teachers, siblings or maybe their coach. However, most people must thank their friends. 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 when he met me. 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 and popular boy told us about his weakest moment. I saw his parents looking at me and smiling with the same grateful smile. I never realize the depth of my actions until that single moment.
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.
“Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.”