One morning, Dan was cleaning his room with all the clutter present there. He was almost finished. He only had his desk table left to clean. After cleaning the desk table, he was relieved to see his room in spic and span.

He kept his cleaning materials and started sitting on his chair looking at his newly organized desk table. He noticed a picture. So he got it and saw that it was a picture of him and his friend Ray.

Dan started to remember about Ray. He remembered him as a young man with a positive outlook in life. He sees the good in everything he’s through. He keeps a happy mood, and the people around him see that. He keeps a good relationship with them, and tries his best not to hurt them. He wants to have a happy environment around him.

Many would think that he has a perfect, happy life because of his disposition. But Dan knew it wasn’t the case. He knew that Ray had his share of pain. The road wasn’t easy for him, but he overcame it and became the person Dan knew.

He remembered their first meeting through an acquaintance. He felt that Ray was intimidated by him because of his wealth, intelligence and well-built stature. So Dan made efforts to make him feel comfortable. It wasn’t easy at first, but eventually they did. From then on, they talked about almost anything and saw the best in each other. This paved the way to become close friends.

There was one time where they talked about their childhood moments. He remembered how he was saddened when he learned of Ray’s. Ray didn’t have a playmate because no one wanted him. So he had no choice but to play alone. When in grade school, he didn’t make much friends. He was one of the main targets for bullies. He felt weak and couldn’t defend himself from them until a female friend defended for him. They eventually became friends after that incident.

As time passed by, he became the man he was made to be. From there, he learned to be happy and positive in everything. His new attitude would then gain him a lot of friends, and make him one of the top students of his batch.

Dan was happy for what Ray had become from that moment. He assured him that he’s going to be there as his friend for life. The next day, he introduced Ray to his circle of friends. His friends made Ray feel comfortable with them by being nice and friendly. Eventually, Ray made friends with them and his circle of friends expanded. He treated the same way he did to Dan- giving a happy atmosphere in their conversations, being a helping hand in their problems and cheering them up in happy and difficult situations.

It was time for college. He was nervous on his first day, until a friend tagged along with him. It was no other than Ray. They didn’t expect that they would be in the same university taking the same course. So they helped each survive their freshman year. Their teamwork made them top achievers and positive influencers to their classmates. Dan couldn’t imagine all the things that happened to them. He couldn’t ask for more.

It wasn’t long that Ray started to have low grades. Apart from that, he became impatient, jealous, hot-tempered, conceited and eccentric. This worried not only Dan, but also their teachers and classmates. Lunch break came, and Dan used the opportunity to talk to Ray of his problem. Ray had to deny that he has one. Dan wasn’t convinced and asked Ray again. He assured him that whatever is being talked about will be between the two of them.

Ray was hesitant at first to tell him. But he found the courage to do so because he knew he needed help deep inside. So he planned to tell everything to Dan. He was ready to lose his friendship with Dan once he knows it. He admitted to him that he has a struggle and told him how he got it.

This surprised Dan. He didn’t know how to react. He wanted to resist Ray but he couldn’t because of his assurance of friendship to him. So he decided not to look down on him. He showed Ray that he respected him and still looked at him as a friend. He then gave him the help he needed in order for him to overcome it. After which, Ray apologized to Dan for what he did and Dan forgave him.

Before they left the room, Dan said to Ray,

“Be assured that God still loves you in spite of your mistakes. He gives you the grace and forgiveness you need. He is a God of many chances.”

Then, he made a pact to Ray that he’s going to pray for him until he overcomes the hurdle in his life.  A few months later, he was able to be back in shape. Everyone was happy for his redemption. As a result, he finished college with flying colors. Dan and Ray congratulated each other for a job well done. Dan was happy for Ray because he knew he has that positive attitude that made him a victor.  He knew it wasn’t easy, but his perseverance prevailed.

Going back to the present, Dan wonders Ray’s whereabouts. He receives a text message from Ray saying he would like to meet up with him. Dan accepts and he goes out to meet Ray in their meeting place. They enjoyed their time together. He was happy to see Ray being a successful career man. He was happier when he learned that Ray contributes to become a minister to those who have the same struggle as him. Ray told Dan,

“I want to give the same hope that real, true love comes from God. Men are to be respected, not played on. If they’ve lost their way, God’s stubborn love is always there. His work on the cross is enough for them to know. Through Him, they can leave their former lives and start anew.”

It was time to part ways as night came. As Dan went on his way home, he thought how blessed he was to meet a friend like Ray. He thanked God for his life and the opportunity to help him in one of the toughest moments of his life. It was his way of giving back for all he’s done to him. He thought about how blessed people will be when they get to meet him. Now, he could only wish Ray for the best as he begins his new chapter.