Today I received some rather surprising news.
I have a friend whom I've only met but once. He and I frequent the same blog, and over the years we've become "regulars" on there. Several months ago, I received an email from him, asking if I was up for some counseling as he was in need of some help.
My reply? "Sure thing - what can I do you for?"
8 Simple words.
I sent my message back, sent a follow-up email with my phone number in case he wanted to call, and promptly forgot about it. Waited to hear back from him. Never did.
I wondered if maybe he'd gotten help somewhere else or had reconsidered his request.
Oh well, I thought, I guess I wasn't much help to him.
Several months later, I heard from him again, this time expressing gratitude for my help. "What help?" I thought to myself. I didn't do anything - just made an offer, which was apparently declined.
Fast forward to yesterday. I was corresponding with him, and casually asked what had been going on that had prompted his original request, and his later expression of thanks.
"It was suicide," he told me. "You were there. That was enough. That was just enough."
Life and death just an email apart.
8 simple words: "Sure thing - what can I do you for?"
Sometimes the times where we think we're the least effective turn out to have the biggest impact.
No, I didn't do anything. But I was there when he needed someone.
And in the end, that was enough.