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 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 his books. He turned out
to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on
Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung 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, 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 me 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 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.

— Author Unknown

About Roger Overweg

Interest include: Nature photography, Detroit Tigers, I'm a Spiritual, Meditative, analysis, Divorce, Spirituality, Weather, Chicago Cubs, Talk radio, Lighthouses, Medicine, Meditation, Hiking, Fishing, Short wave radio, Bible, Holy Bible, News, Newspapers, Photography, Baseball, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Coffee, Prayer, Freash-water-fish-aquarium. Reading, Books, Lakes, Streams, Dunes, Devotionals, Philosophy
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