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Text Illustrations
Two boys grew up together. They were close friends as children, but as they entered their teen years their paths began to diverge and they ended up in very different places. Ernie was always in trouble. He began by shoplifting small things from stores and worked his way up to stealing cars. Next it was armed robbery. Finally, on one of his stealing sprees he killed a man. He was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.


Mike took a different track. He turned away from the rebellious tendencies of his friend and continued through school. He worked his way through college, graduated and became a successful businessman. However, Mike had much difficulty with his physical health. His eyes in particular were weak. As he grew older, his eyesight deteriorated until he was legally blind. One day Mike heard the news about his old friend Ernie. He felt a terrific sense of compassion and sorrow for what had happened to his childhood friend and he reached out to him. After writing letters to renew their old relationship, he went to visit Ernie in prison. They had a very touching and emotional reunion there, speaking by phone across the security window at the penitentiary.


In spite of years of hard-hearted living, something in Ernie warmed as he talked with the man with whom he had played as a boy so many years before. An idea began to grow in his mind as well. Ernie was about to die; his friend Mike was sightless. Was it possible that Ernie could do something worthwhile in his death? Could he give his eyes so that his old friend could see? It turned out to be medically possible and that’s exactly what happened. Ernie was executed for his crime, but through surgery his good eyes were used to restore Mike’s vision.