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 friend’s 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 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 and me. 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 going to really build some serious muscles
with this pile of books every day!" He just 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,
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 a 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.