Mark was walking home from school one day when he
noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was
carrying along with two sweaters, a baseball bat, a glove and a small tape
recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles.
Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As
they walked, Mark discovered the boy's name was Bill, that he loved video
games, baseball and history, and that he was having lots of trouble with his
other subjects and that he had just broken up with his longtime girlfriend.
They arrived at Bill's home first and Mark was invited
in for a Coke, and to watch some T.V. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a
few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to
see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then they both
graduated from junior high school.
They ended up in the same high school where they had
brief contacts over the years. Finally the long-awaited senior year came and
three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk. Bill
reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. "Did you ever
wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?" asked Bill.
"You see, I cleaned out my locker because I
didn't want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my
mothers sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we
spent some time together, talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed
myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So
you see, Mark, when you picked up those books that day, you did a lot more, you
saved my life,"
Every little hello, every little smile, every helping
hand saves a hurting heart. Pass it on. There's a miracle called Friendship
that dwells in the heart. You don't know how it happens or when it gets started
but, you know the special lift it always brings and you realize that Friendship
Is God's most precious gift! Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make
you smile and they encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a
word of praise, and they always want to open their heart to us.
Added November 21, 1999
Another Similar Story Sent to me on May 23, 2003:
Thank you for being a friend
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I
saw a kid from my class was walking home from school.
like he was carrying all of his books.
to myself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on
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.
at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping
him so he landed in the dirt.
went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet
up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes.
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!"
a big smile on his face.
It was one
of those smiles that showed real gratitude.
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
he had gone to private school before now.
have never hung out with a private school kid before.
all the way home, and I carried some of his books.
out to be a pretty cool kid.
him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends.
out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I
liked him, and my
friends thought the same of him.
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
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."
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 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.
us all in each other's lives to impact one another in some way. Look for
God in others. You now
have two choices, you can:
this on to your friends or
2) Go away and act like it didn't touch your heart. As you can
see, I took choice number 1. "Friends are angels who
lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble
remembering how to fly."
no beginning or end.
That's why it's called the present.
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