I’ve been wanting to watch the movie, “I’m Not Ashamed,” ever since I learned more of Rachel’s story. Last night, I finally decided it was time.
The story of Columbine in past years has brought up controversy. Reports and documents have been released to the public and with these reports, people form their own conclusions.
Here are some things I can tell you. Dylan and Eric made it clear what their intentions were long before April 20th, 1999. It was not a secret. Both enjoyed making videos, often of them being the “hero” and gunning down people, including bullies. There was a website detailing the hate. A number of students were aware of their hate.
Unfortunately, the police department at that time did not stand up. Multiples claims and concerns. A writing piece that shocked the teacher. All dismissed.
The controversy starts when people start trying to argue about those who died and whether or not they were asked if they believed in God. Or whether or not the boys were bullied and had friends. Whether or not they targeted specific people.
Movie Attacked By Atheists– For almost a year YouTube did not feature the trailer of the movie, “I’m Not Ashamed,” because a group of atheists petitioned that is was wrong to feature it. YouTube finally admitted they were wrong for revoking the trailer, and it is now back.
The way I view these events is listening to those who were there and the families related to the victims. The friends of the victims. Those who were with the victims the day of. I think these are the real pieces of the puzzle. People who were not there rely on police reports and documents released to the public. But it’s clear the public does not have everything.
On the day Rachel died, about 45 minutes before her death, she drew a picture. A pair of eyes dripping 13 tears. From these tears, a flower grew dripping 13 drops of blood.
A Columbine flower.
Dylan and Eric’s bombs did not go off, saving who knows how many. Despite their hate and desire to take out many. Despite the fact, they had a lot of ammunition with them. 13 people, 12 students and 1 teacher (a beloved coach) were killed. And please be considerate of those 13.
13 families who lost sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and one family lost a father.
As a Christian, I see how God prevented additional deaths. To the outside world, no, divine intervention doesn’t make sense. For me, it does. Not only for what God prevented from happening but how He was preparing some of the victims for that day.
Learning About Cassie & Rachel
I was 14 was when I learned of Cassie’s story in the book, “She Said Yes.”
2019, in particular, I felt very strongly that I needed to revisit Cassie’s book. Not realizing 2019 was the 20th year. After I had gone through it again, I felt pushed to learn more about Columbine…and that is when I came across some powerful stories, one, of course, is Rachel’s.
Cassie had a dark past as a teen and she was still very new to having a walk with Christ, but the difference Christ made in her life was evident to others. Rachel had a similar story.
Rachel’s parents got divorced when she was young. The divorce affected her and her siblings greatly.
Rachel had big dreams of being on stage. She wanted to affect a lot of people. Her middle name being Joy fit her well.
What I really appreciate about Rachel’s story and Cassie’s is that they were teens who struggled as Christians. People seem to forget how hard it is being a teen. The pressures and temptations teens experience. And how these struggles are no different than the ones adults face, in a sense. Serve God or serve self.
It’s just we seem to hold teens more responsible than ourselves sometimes.
Rachel desired a boyfriend. She felt unnoticed by guys. Her group of friends smoked and drank, pulling her into a sinful world. Her journal revealed how she prayed to God to help her not drink when she was at the parties. But as scripture says about the flesh and spirit always warring against each other, Rachel, at some point. decided to walk forward in Christ.
She lost her friends. Labeled a “Jesus freak.” Rachel fought against this with love and kindness. She would love others, especially those who have been outcasted. She would love her enemies.
Whatever the cost.
In fact, Rachel shared how she couldn’t see her future. She didn’t see herself getting old. She didn’t see herself getting married or even going to college. In one of her journals, a line of hers reads how “it wouldn’t be suicide but homicide.”
Rachel openly shared her pain and confusion in her writing. Trying to follow Christ and show His love.
I think the movie tells her story well. Sharing the good and bad.
Movie Scenes To Be Aware Of
The movie depicts some scenes of drinking and smoking. At some of the parties, you see couples huddle together kissing. There is one scene where Rachel is pressured with the temptation of sex, but she walks away after a kiss and knowing this is not what she wanted. Unfortunately, when she tries to find the boy again and explain why she walked away, he is kissing her best friend.
I think these scenes are real enough to get the point across of the struggle and temptation of being in this atmosphere. But the focal points are not on the smoking, drinking, or sex (which is implied) In fact, Rachel is often seen set aside looking around her with a confused face, like why is she there?
When she has an argument with her mom and stepdad she tries to say that she can be a witness in these places. I think a lot of teens struggle understanding boundaries in how we can be a witness, especially in these situations. I appreciate the truth of this. I think a lot of teens can relate to the truth of these scenes and the crowd Rachel was associated with.
There is one friend Rachel is really concerned about, and this girl gives away her body a lot (again, this is implied, not shown). Toward the end of the movie, you understand her struggle, and the difference Rachel made for this girl.
All in all, I think it is a powerful movie for families and teens.
Rachel’s Story Continues…
There were a number of prophetic moments Rachel had. Not only with the last drawing, but with others. Lines she wrote. A handprint she drew as a child, desiring to reach many. After Rachel died, a family friend reached out and shared how he kept having dreams of Rachel’s tears. This was shortly before they found the drawing of the teardrops.
Rachel’s story has impacted over 22 million people and continues to do so. Students who hear her story and share how the story saved them from committing suicide. There is a non-profit organization now called Rachel’s Challenge and it continues to impact lives.
“Her vision to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion is the basis for our mission: Making schools safer, more connected places where bullying and violence are replaced with kindness and respect; and where learning and teaching are awakened to their fullest. And it works!” – From Rachel’s Challenge Website, About Us
If you would like to view the trailer you can here.
“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 Scott
“I won’t be labeled as average.” – Rachel Scott
What would it mean to give up everything and serve Christ?