Monday, March 9, 2015

Rachel's Challenge

I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to Darrell Scott speak at a recent conference I attended. Darrell is father to Rachel Scott, the first high schooler killed in the Columbine shooting.

I can't even begin to put into words the amazing impact that this young girl's life has made. Prior to her death, Rachel, inspired by Anne Frank, kept six diaries of her thoughts and feelings. After her death, her father found her diaries (one of the was in her backpack the day she was killed and had a bullet hole through it). Her diaries offered her family insight into Rachel's deepest thoughts and now serve as her legacy.

I know it is cliché to say it but it does really seem like God takes the good ones much too soon. Rachel is no exception. The amount of compassion and love in this one young girl's heart was beyond her years. Her father played video of the many friends she had--popular or not--who all expressed how in times of rejection, Rachel was right there to extend friendship and kindness to them. Her dad displayed a paper Rachel wrote shortly before her death where she wrote, "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." These weren't just words to her. She lived out these words. She frequently expressed to others that she had a desire to make an impact in this world. Sadly, she wasn't alive to realize her impact as her words have outlived her but what an incredibly amazing difference her life made.

Her father started Rachel's Challenge, an organization based on the writings of Rachel, that promotes anti-bullying and visits schools around the world to create a culture of kindness. To date, more than 500 kids have contacted the organization to state that after hearing Rachel's story, they reached out for help as they were contemplating suicide.

Rachel was a regular teenager. She went to prom shortly before she was killed. She had big dreams. She wanted to change the world. She said as much to her teacher the very day she was killed. She had an uncanny knowledge that her short life would change lives. She drew a picture right before she was killed, and, I don't want to give it away because you should read her journals, but that image has amazing significance and insight into the events that took place that very day. She didn't know what was about to take place but on some spiritual level she was preparing. I can't explain it. It gives me chills.

God Bless this sweet family. The hurt that they've endured is immense but then they actively try to seek out good and live out creating a legacy that their precious daughter believed in so deeply. Please read about the life of this special girl. I feel so changed after hearing her dad speak about her.

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