The Power of Friendliness

Here’s another one of my favorite emails. Perhaps you’ve seen it inside your own inbox, but it is a very poignant story and makes a good point about the impact we can have on others, many of which we may not know. Enjoy!

His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet away 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 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 some of his books.
He turned out to be a pretty cool kid.

I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends
and he said yes.

We hung out 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 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
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 and 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 others lives to impact one another in some way.

Look for God in others.

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Don,

    Just got time to check this out. You know that I’m going to say that I love it. It seems familiar tho, have you shared it with me before? I’ll share it with Christian and he will probably use it in one of his Sunday messages. I’ll let you know if he does and you can watch his podcast.

  2. Hi Gail,

    I don’t recall sharing it with you before, but I suppose it is possible. And yes, please don’t hesitate to share it with Christian. I would be honored if he would use any content in his Sunday messages.
    Please keep me in the loop.

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