What makes a woman of faith precious to the Lord? Is it her labor in His name, her actions prompted by faith, or her trust in His plans for her?
This is the story of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim in the Columbine massacre of 1999. Those who knew and loved her best, have written much about her. They tell a story of an incredible young woman who never made it past the first flush of youth. She was only 17 when she was gunned down.
Witnesses reported that when her assassin, a student at the same high school, shot her once, he paused over her to ask her if she still believed in her God. Her response was an unwavering, "You know I do.”! He then delivered the fatal shots that took her life.
But more than her courage, it is Rachel, the artist that I want to write about here.
She was prolific in recording her heart to heart conversations with Jesus, in her numerous journals. Her entries are genuine, transparent and display a vulnerability that is endearing.
They shine a beacon of light not just on her generous and sweet personality, but also on the Jesus she came to know and love.
dialogs detailed in about 6 journals, tell the love story of a young
girl and her God. He was not one who was distant and remote, but a
friend, who helped inspire and guide her, as well as shaped her view of
the world. They are well worth reading.
In her youthful impatience, she asked in those pages ‘When will the world open and see ---the art in me” As a Christian artist, that is a heart cry which must resonate with you, as it did me. Her longing to be exceptional and to make a difference, is also our desire.
This woman of faith, drew so close to Jesus, that when He told her that she was living her last year upon the earth, her response was one of gratitude for the years that she did have!
The depth and honesty of her communion, despite her youth, are what you and I must aspire to if we desire to create, in response to our fellowship with Him.
Thirty minutes before the bullet snuffed out her earthly life, she drew a simple ink sketch. It never surfaced until months later, because it became part of the evidence in the investigation following that horrific massacre. It was drawn in her last journal, which she carried in her backpack.
A phone call from stranger days after the tragedy seemed meaningless to her father. The caller told him that, in a dream, he had seen Rachel’s eyes with tears streaming from it. Did it hold any significance for the family? He asked. It did not appear important at the time, until the backpack and its contents, were returned to the family.
Drawn in the colorful journal, with a bullet hole through its pages, was her last entry – a simple little sketch.
It was a drawing in ink of Rachel’s eyes with 13 tears flowing down the page onto a rose: a tear for each of the 13 who lost their lives that day.
The rose that bloomed from within, became the inspiration for a grieving father to take his daughter’s message of compassion and love, to thousands of young people everywhere. It drew him closer to her God, who then gave him the grace to forgive her young assassins.
It also began Rachel's Challenge, that continues to this day, over 10 years after the tragedy, transforming the lives of countless young people. Here is a profound example of art from the heart. Critics may claim that it can boast little more than the status of a doodle – yet there is nothing casual about the aesthetic presence of this drawing or its prophetic power!
The poignant work of this woman of faith, along with all her other sketches and writings, speak with an integrity that is rare. Her drawings lack the plastic posturing that is an inseparable part of contemporary art. They retrieve from the unplumbed depths of a vibrant relationship with God, truths rich in universal meaning.
Simple tools were used for its creation, yet its impact is mind-boggling. It had no audience at the time of its creation, but Jesus. Yet millions of eyes behold its wonder today, comprehending only a fraction of its power.
God gave her the blue print of her life, one conversation at a time. Rachel, as a woman of faith, listened to Him. The pages of her journals are well worth reading. She was a vivacious, yet ordinary teenager, with an extraordinary friendship with Jesus. He sorted through her various teenage issues and gave her a calm sense of destiny, purpose and passion.
She was more than a woman of faith; she is a wonderful example of an authentic Christian artist – genuine, passionate, creative, relevant and timeless.
Strangely enough, I doubt she would never have imagined reading this about herself!
I highly recommend reading Rachel’s Tears, or any of the other books about this woman of faith, that contain her journal entries.