Tonight the movie To Save a Life was shown at our church by our somewhat local radio station.
I knew prior to attending the movie that it would have a huge impact on me due to the fact that the previews left me weeping every time I heard them. The main premise to the movie itself was one that wrenched my heart just thinking about it, because it was something I could relate to my own life.
Before reading on, I would suggest watching the preview:
Besides all the things God whacked me upside the head with during the movie (which will be addressed in the other parts, to be posted throughout the week), there was one main reason that this movie took my heart and squeezed it hard enough to render me into a semi-permanent state of crying throughout the movie.
That kid could have been me. No, not Jake Taylor, the hero of our movie. It was his old friend Roger, the one who pulled the trigger that could have easily been me. While I doubt I would have ever been able to get a hold of a gun, I did attempt suicide my freshmen year of high school through overdosing.
In the movie, Jake finds a final blog from Roger, in which he expresses his feelings of lonliness and worthlessness. The feeling of being invisible to all, of knowing that anything you do or say will continue to go un-noticed. Hearing it was like hearing someone read an entry out of the journal I kept that year.
I was, in a way, Roger. Only my life was saved. Two people took the chance and stepped out, not knowing anything other than that they felt they needed to.
The first was a boy. I had met him at a youth group, and fell into crush mode immediately. He was wacky and strange and seemed to go out of his way to make all feel welcome. I was pretty sure he had no idea I existed, even though we had exchanged a few emails prior.
The night I was planning my second attempt at suicide, for whatever reason, I decided to check my email before doing anything. Waiting in my inbox was an email from that boy. Though I do not recall the exact wording, the e-mail was short, and expressed that he was not entirely sure why he was writing this, except that he felt I needed it. He wanted me to know he thought I was awesome, and to remind me that I was loved.
I didn’t attempt suicide that night. Those words touched my soul, because it meant that someone had noticed me. That somehow, despite being camouflouged into the furniture, someone had not only noticed me, but cared enough to send me a message of love for no real reason at all.
Next came the youth leader. A few days later, he showed up at my high school (which wasn’t so abnormal), this time looking specifically for me. He stopped me and asked if we could have a lunch date that week, as he suspected I needed to talk to someone. During that particular lunch, he pointed out that he knew something was up, because I had lost the sparkle in my eye.
To this day, that comment alone has stuck with me as a reminder that someone, somewhere always notices.
I can’t even begin to express the gratitude I have for those two people for trusting their instincts. They were the difference between my being here today and the chance for me to be nothing more than a statistic.
The moral of the story? Never-underestimate the power of a few kind words to someone, whether it’s something you’d do normally or not. Those words might just save a life.