No. 4




The late Thomas Hughes, English author and reformer, once said, "Blessed are they who have the gift of making friends, for it is one of God's best gifts. It involves many things, but above all, the power of going out of one's self, and appreciating whatever is noble and loving in another." This is certainly a true statement and one that those of us who cherish our friends can really appreciate.

However, there is a moral and social crisis in the world today which can make it difficult to know who our true friends really are. I'm referring to the terrible scourge of illegal drugs. For those who choose to get involved, the idea or thought of true friendship can quite often be a rude and painful awakening. There are millions of tragic stories that will bear this out and I have one of those stories to share with you. This true story involves a young person who got involved with drugs and it took place only a few miles from where I live, so it really hit close to home.

A young man in his twenties was a college student, and like so many others, he fell into bad company and before long he was using drugs on a regular basis. During this time he met another young man and they became friends. He had been left an old house in a will, and he was fixing it up to live in and his friend even spent several days helping him get it ready.

A few miles from the college town where these young men were both living, they had started a marijuana field to grow plants, harvest them and sell the drugs to other students and anyone else who came along. One afternoon, just a short time ago, they both left school early to go to the marijuana field to harvest some plants. It had become their custom for one of them to carry a gun, since they had become wary of the local authorities. As they made their way through a thicket of small pine trees, the young man who owned the house, was a few feet in front of his friend, and he heard the hammer of the gun click. The next thing he knew, he was lying on the ground dazed, because his friend had shot him and presumed him to be dead.

As he continued to lay there, he heard the bite of a shovel as it tore hunks out of the pine floor. His friend was digging his grave. Realizing his only chance to survive was a knife he carried in his pocket, he slowly pulled it out and opened the blade. His real problem however, was that the blast of the gun had left him blinded. When his so-called "friend", who had now become his assailant, finished digging and came over to put him in the grave, as he heard footsteps close by, the young man lunged at him with the open knife blade and ripped into the calf of his assailant's leg. He expected to be finished off, but his assailant left without doing him further harm. Later it was revealed he had left to get medical attention.

For the next two days and nights, in a mosquito and snake infested forest, the young man wandered totally blind until he finally staggered upon a farm house where he was able to find help. Today he is living with his parents in a nearby town and he will be blind for the rest of his life.

While the subject of drugs and the havoc they wreak in people's lives in endless, I believe this true story will shed light on the problem from a little different angle. It's true, when you get involved with drugs, you never know who your friends are. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)