BellaOnline Literary Review
The Stairway by Debi Gardiner


To Friend Or Not To Friend

Michele Fleming

As she sat looking at the glaring computer screen, she began to scroll down the list of the latest posts by the countless number of friends on her friends list. Stopping to read various ones, Katie was suddenly amazed at how many she ignored. Clicking back to the top of the page, she began the downward trek again, making a mental note of the “not-so-close” friends as she went. She decided immediately that it was time for some much needed purging.

Searching through her list of friends, Katie deleted everyone that wasn’t a close friend or relative and once finished, she felt an odd since of relief. She vowed then and there to be more selective in her “friending” process in the future. Just three short days later, as she visited her usual social media hangout, she sat looking at her latest friend request.

“Well, here we go. To friend or not to friend - that is the question.” Katie said as she moved the cursor toward the prompt. Clicking on the request, she was surprised to see the person wanting to be her friend, was someone she had deleted from her account during her little cleaning spree.

Katie’s curiosity was piqued however and she decided to check out his profile. Even though they had been online friends for the last couple of years, she really had not heard much from Tyler Morris since high school. Katie found herself drawn to his story, amazed at where Tyler’s life had taken him.

Come to find out, Tyler had entered the Marines right out of high school and had been on the front lines during Desert Storm. He worked his way up in the ranks, and actually served as a Sergeant Major during the advance into Baghdad. His military career came to a tragic close this past May when he took part in the raid that ended the reign of terror by Osama bin Laden” a sniper’s bullet had left him handicapped.

Katie sat back in her seat and stared at the screen, overwhelmed at what she had just learned. Tyler had led a very interesting life and had been a part of some major events in our country’s history. Impressed by it all, she took a deep breath, leaned forward and continued to read, learning more about Tyler’s remarkable life.

Katie learned that the bullet had caused Tyler to lose his right leg below the knee. Undergoing extensive physical therapy, Tyler now walked with the aid of a prosthetic leg and was in training to run in the Boston Marathon. Impressive as all this was, the thing that stood out most was Tyler’s devotion to his faith.

Despite all the hardships that Tyler has had to face in his life, he had remained dedicated to the Lord. Tyler had established an organization call The Vet’s Place, to help veterans with their disabilities and every day struggles. Tyler’s group would then use this opportunity to reach out and share the gospel with everyone they helped.

In a very short time, the organization branched out to other cities in other states and to date, they have seen a remarkable two hundred and eleven souls come to know or rededicate their lives to the Lord. Overcome with emotion, Katie wiped at her tear-filled eyes and continued to read the stories posted on Tyler’s profile. It was truly astonishing how God had used Tyler in the advancement of His kingdom.

Katie felt ashamed at how little she had done for the Lord. Blessed beyond measure, yet church on Sunday morning was the only way she had even attempted to repay Him. Inspired by Tyler’s story she spent a little time in prayer asking God to guide her to where she would be able to serve Him. Afterward, she looked closer at Tyler’s profile and realized that the home office for The Vet’s Place was right across town. How did she not know about this place?

Katie felt suddenly that this was where the Lord was leading her and after humbly accepting Tyler’s friend request, sent him a message offering her help as a volunteer. Within seconds, she received a reply.

“Welcome aboard! Something, or someone, told me you would feel this way!” - Tyler

Katie marveled at what had just transpired from such a secular thing as the internet! God can work through anything - even social media!

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Reader Feedback:
Im so proud of you Chele! Loved the story and can't wait to read more. I love you sis!

Wonderful story! Brought tears to my eyes and I desire in my heart to serve more also.

Spring Equinox 2012 Table of Contents