It was several years ago when I was in college that I first read about the Columbine High School Massacre. It took place on April 20, 1999 in Columbine, in the State of Colorado in United States. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, shot and killed 12 students and one teacher and then took their own lives. It was a heart breaking tragedy that shocked the entire nation. And as I explored further into what happened I came across an article on Rachel Joy Scott, one of the murdered victims in the shooting. She was the first one to get shot by the shooters Eric and Dylan. What I learned about Rachel and her last moments, impacted me greatly that day. It forced me to ask myself, “Would I have said Yes?”. It brought tears to my eyes and stirred my heart deeply. Her life and death added to my resolve to stay committed to Jesus and to live passionately for God.
RACHEL JOY SCOTT
Rachel Joy Scott was a committed Christian. She was 17 at the time of her death. She was open about her faith in Christ and unashamedly witnessed in her school campus about Jesus. Her family said that she was not a super spiritual person. She had her struggles. She was like any other teenager but loved God greatly. Her diary revealed many things about her commitment to Jesus and her love for Him. Below are few of the excerpts and quotes from Rachels diary that her family shared with the public.
On April 20, 1998, Rachel wrote in her diary , “I lost all my friends at school, now that I’ve begun to ‘walk my talk’, they make fun of me. I don’t even know what I have done. I don’t really have to say anything and they turn from me.” She continues, “I have no more personal friends at school, But you know what? I am not going to apologize for speaking the name of Jesus. I am not going to justify my faith to them, and I am not going to hide the light that God has put into me. If I have to sacrifice everything I will. I will take it. If my friends have to become my enemies for me to be with my best friend Jesus, then that’s fine with me. I always knew being a Christian is having enemies, but I never thought that my ‘friends’ were going to be those enemies. She states also, “If I have to give up everything, I will”.
Somehow Rachel had a feeling that she was going to die young. She had told her friends that she would never have a chance to marry and will not live beyond 20. Less than a year before the shooting, Rachel had written in her diary, “This is my last year, Lord. I have gotten what I can. Thank you.“
Some more excerpts from her diary:
Rachel wrote addressing to God, “I want you to use me to reach the unreached.” The diary was in her backpack the day she was shot.
“God is going to use me to reach the young people, I don’t know how, I don’t know when.”
“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.“
RACHEL’S LAST MOMENTS
Three weeks before the shooting she had witnessed to the shooters Eric and Dylan. Eric and Dylan were the odd pair out and students mostly stayed away from them. But Rachel tried to talk to them and encouraged them to leave their hateful feelings and turn to Jesus. But they hated her the more and even made homemade videotapes mocking her christian faith.
On the day of the shooting, Rachel was outside the school building having her lunch. Eric and Dylan entered the school campus and first shot Rachel. They shot her in the leg twice and shot her again in the back. They left but returned seconds later. On noticing that she was still alive, Eric walked over to Rachel and grabbed her by the hair, lifted up her head and asked her “Do you still believe in your God?” Her response was unflinching and unwavering, ”You Know I Do”, and that provocated Eric and he responded “Then go be with Him,” and shot her in the head.
Two hours before the shooting, Rachel’s final drawing was a picture of her eyes shedding 13 tears ( 13 people were shot that day ) that touch a rose and turn to blood drops. The rose is growing out of a Columbine plant and is connected to a verse from the Bible that says, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man would lay his life down for his friends”. That drawing inspired her parents to write a book called “Rachel’s Tears”.
Millions of people have come to know Jesus in her death. It stirred and impacted millions of young and the old and solidified their devotion and passion for Jesus. Her father had said that Rachel aspired to be a missionary and an actress too. Though it seemed to be conflicting and very contrasting desires, her dream is fulfilled. According to wikipedia, her funeral was televised throughout the nation and was the most watched event on CNN up to that point, surpassing even the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. Millions of people have seen her face on various media and have read the book “Rachel’s Tears”.
When Rachel was 13, she wrote:
“These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will some day touch millions of people’s hearts.”
In the back of her diary she wrote in big, large letters:
“I won’t be labeled as average.”
“Would I have said yes?” I pray, I would. Let’s resolve that we won’t be average in our devotion and love for the Lord. Sometimes, it is living for Jesus and taking a stand that will cost us everything. But isn’t He worth it all. As our dear Apostle Paul said:
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. [ Philippians 1:21 ]
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ. [ Philippians 3:8 ]