One day when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle, and 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 tomorrow afternoon), so I just shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward Kyle. They knocked all of his books out of his arms and tripped him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them lying 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. I jogged over to him and as he crawled over to his glasses, I saw tears in his eyes. As I handed him the glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks.
They really should get a life.” 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 in the neighborhood. He said that he had gone to a private school before now (I would have never hung out with a private school kid). We talked all the way home. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him to play football with my friends and me on Saturday morning, and he did. We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know him, the more I liked him. And my friends thought the same.
Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and told him if he keeps this up he’s going to build some serious muscles. He just laughed, and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When 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. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He even Became valedictorian, and was preparing for the graduation day speech. I sure was glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak. On graduation day, Kyle 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 did, and all the girls loved him.
Boy, sometimes I was really jealous! Today was one of those days I could see that he was nervous. 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) smiled and said, “Thanks.” 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 in disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself that 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 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 another in some way.
Look for God in others.