Tuesday, March 09, 2004

this is special
worth a print
a read on a journey
a dwell


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,
"Whywould 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 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. 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 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
"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

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you
can change a persons 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."

There is no beginning or end.
Yesterday is history.
Tomorrow is mystery.
Today is a gift.