“Don’t get killed tonight, cuz dying it hurts, like putting up a fight” these words were sung by a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago, but what if it was true? What if what we say or even what we don’t say has on effect on someone? Whether positive or negative? In today’s society, we are so technologically submerged that we are surrounded by millions of people with just a touch of a button. With friends and immediate family by either a text or a phone call. Or farther out to extended family and strangers through twitter or other forms of social media. Now you may be thinking: “It’s just a button on a screen, it’s not like I’m actually there with anyone” And you’re absolutely right and correct with that statement, however, what if you were able and had the power to save someone’s life just by what you said? Here’s a story to illustrate my point:
Katrina had everything going for her after she graduated from high school. She had a car, a well-paying job, (both of which happened two-years after she graduated of course) and a family who loved her. She also had a God who she served. It didn’t matter if the little trials of life came her way, she always tried to have a positive outlook on life and be an encouragement to her family, the people she’d run into at church and the various platforms of social media that she was on. Despite the lack of true friends, overall she was content.
Until tragedy struck shortly after she started college. Growing up without close friends, she didn’t know who she could count on with the way it was affecting her at school. Therefore, she tried to revert to the way life was before. Sharing a kind word on top of being a support for her family and trying to meet school deadlines. If anyone saw her in the halls sharing a laugh over lunch, going over assignments with classmates, or just chilling with the rest of her cast mates from the fall musical, it would appear that everything was fine. And that was what she wanted people to think. When the waves of shock started to diminish, the several cycles of grief started to attack at full force leaving her suffocated and numb. The emotional downward continued for several weeks to the point that finally, one night she decided to go out on a limb and talk to one of her classmates, James. Fully aware and ready for every form of rejection, she asked him one simple question: Is it possible to be on the verge of borderline hate? And that night, not only was a friendship created, but instead of her always encouraging others, she was the one receiving the encouragement. With his friendship, and the friendship of his girlfriend Renee later on, she thought she was starting to see a light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
Then depression came her way in the middle of the following fall. With the end of the semester around the corner, she ended up with no motivation to finish. So, after briefly talking with James, Katrina asked if he and Renee could pray that she would still have enough motivation to carry her through the last few weeks. What they didn’t know was the lies that Katrina had herself convinced of. Things like everyone, including James and Renee, would be better off if she wasn’t there and the pain she felt with the depression on her shoulders would all be taken care of if she took matters into her own hands. With her emotions turned off, she felt like she was nothing but a moving shell. She lived this way until the last week of school. It was then that she had believed the lies so well that going through with her plan to ease her pain, and the feeling of abandonment of God, she drove to a riverside park, walked the bridge and looked out over the peaceful flow of the water below.
In the midst of tear-filled eyes, she pulled out her phone, brought up James’ number and hit dial. It wouldn’t go through. A couple tries later, her phone still wouldn’t dial his number. Totally upset with herself, she backed away from the river, ran to her car, locked herself in, and did something she hadn’t let herself to do for a year. Cry. Not just because she had failed, but because she hadn’t fully grieved, and she was doing something he had asked her not to do: Run. It was then that a text James shot came back to her mind:
“…If you feel depressed or angry then take a second and realize how good you have it! At the very least, you have your God, and your friends (me included)….If even one person were to leave forever, the whole world would be drastically different. God uses you every day to reach people without you even knowing”
Would Katrina have gone through with her plans if those words from James that God used hadn’t come to mind? As fictitious as this story was,(or as real as it seems) it sparks the question: How many Katrina’s do we run into every day and we in turn do and say nothing? It doesn’t hurt to give someone encouragement when it seems like they need it. Let them know that if they needed anything that you would be there, even if it’s just to let them rant or cry. As a friend of mine says in the same song:
“So don’t be afraid to cry….”
I would love to be a friend like James. Will you join me? Be a friend, and who knows? You may save a life.