One day, when Steve was a freshman in high school, he saw a kid from his class walking home from school. His name was Kyle and it looked like he was carrying all of his books. Steve thought to himself, "Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd!"
Steve on the other hand had no books, but he did have quite a weekend planned (parties, a football game with his friends and a party on Saturday night) so he shrugged his shoulders and went on.
As Steve continued on, he saw a bunch of kids running towards Kyle. As they circled around him, they knocked all his books out of his arms and tripped him, so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and Steve saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. As Kyle looked up, Steve caught a glimpse of the terrible sadness in his eyes.
Steve's heart went out to Kyle, so he jogged over to him. Kyle was crawling around looking for his glasses, and tears flooded his eyes. Steve picked up and handed Kyle his glasses. "Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives."
Kyle looked up and said, "Hey, thanks!" A smile now appeared on his face, it was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. As both boys picked up the books, Steve asked Kyle where he lived. As it turned out, he lived close to Steve's home, so he asked, "Why have I never seen you before?"
Kyle explained that he had gone to private schools before now. Steve would have never hung out with a private school kid before, but they talked all the way home and Kyle turned out to be a pretty cool kid. Steve asked if he wanted to play football on Saturday with him and his friends. Kyle quickly responded, "Yes!"
They hung out all weekend and the more Steve got to know Kyle, the more he liked him! Steve's friends also liked Kyle.
Monday morning came and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. "Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday." Steve joked. Both boys just laughed, as Kyle handed his new friend half of his books.
Over the next four years, Steve and Kyle became best friends. As their senior year came both boys began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, while Steve was going to Duke. Both boys knew they would always be friends and that the miles that separated them, would never destroy their friendship! Kyle planned on being a doctor, and Steve was going for business, on a football scholarship!
Kyle was valedictorian of their graduating glass. Steve teased him all the time about being a nerd, and especially now, as Kyle prepared a speech for graduation. He was so glad it wasn't him, that had to get up and speak.
On graduation day, Steve realized that Kyle 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 Steve ever actually had and all the girls loved him.
Sometimes Steve was jealous and today was one of those days. However, seeing Kyle was nervous about his speech, he smacked him on the back and said, "Hey, big guy, you'll be great!" Kyle looked at Steve with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. "Thanks," was all he said.
As Kyle started his speech, he cleared his throat twice, and then 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 greatest gift you can give them.
I am going to tell you a story." Kyle paused and then went on, "My first few weeks as a freshman were very difficult, I had no friends and I didn't fit in. I was constantly bullied by some of the students and I felt I couldn't go through this for the next four years. My plan was to commit suicide."
Steve looked at his friend with disbelief as Kyle went on, "I cleaned out my locker, so that my mom wouldn't have to do it later, and I was carrying all my books. Some of the bullies saw me and knocked those books out of my hands. As my books fell, my glasses also dropped down to the ground." Kyle stopped and glanced at his friend, "Thankfully, I was saved on that day. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable."
A gasp went through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told everyone about his weakest moment. Kyle's mom and dad, looked and smiled at Steve, he saw that same grateful smile, that he had seen on Kyle so many times before. But, not until this particular moment had he realized its depth.
We never really know what another person is thinking or going through. We may even be surprised by 'an answer' that one of our acquaintances or friends would give if we asked, "How are you, really?" And... then waited and listened for a true answer.
One of the greatest lessons we learn from Jesus is LOVE! Jesus said unto him, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." And the second is like unto it, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets."
My friends, never under value the power of your words or actions. With one small gesture, you may make a big impact on someone's life. Moreover never, ever under-estimate what the Lord Jesus will do through you, when you show love to someone who desperately needs it! Let someone know you love them today!