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A man, I’ll call him Ken, once wrote of a ‘chance’ encounter in his life. As a freshman in high school, he saw a boy from his class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. He had an arm full of books. Ken wondered why anyone would carry home so many books on a Friday. He wrote Kyle off as a nerd. After all, he had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game), so he shrugged his shoulders and kept walking. Then he saw a bunch of kids run to Kyle, knock all his books out of his arms, tripping Kyle and leaving him lying in the dirt. His glasses had gone flying and Kyle’s eyes were filled with hurt and sadness; there was a tear in his eye. Ken decided to help Kyle. He gave him his glasses and said, “Those guys are really jerks.” Kyle looked at him and said, with a huge smile, “Hey, thanks!” He helped Kyle pick up his books and asked Kyle where he lived. He discovered they lived close to each other, and began to see Kyle as a neat person. He invited Kyle to play football with him on Saturday. This was the start of a great friendship. In fact, they two became best friends. When it came time for college, Kyle chose for Georgetown to be a doctor, and then Ken chose Duke to train for business. At high school graduation, Kyle was valedictorian. He, therefore, gave a graduation speech. He cleared his throat and said, “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, teachers, 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. I am going to tell you a story.” Ken listened in disbelief as Kyle told of the day they met. Kyle shared that he had planned to kill himself over that weekend. He had cleaned out his locker so his mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying all his stuff home. “Thankfully,” said Kyle with a smile directed towards Ken, “I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.” Kyle’s mom and dad looked over at Ken with the same grateful smile that Kyle had just flashed. It was not until that moment that Ken realized the depth of what he had done.


Ken saw a need; he showed mercy; he was a neighbor. He was like Christ. He made an impact and helped save a life.

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