Twenty years. That’s how long it has been since two students walked into Columbine High School in Colorado with an elaborate plan to go on a killing rampage.
I can’t believe that much time has passed. I was only in fifth grade on April 20, 1999.
I can’t believe how it still brings tears to my eyes.
I didn’t know anyone personally.
I never lived in that area.
I had no personal connection to the event, but it has impacted me deeply.
Every year on April 20, I think about the tragedy that unfolded within those high school walls.
I think about the lives lost.
I think about the pain those gunmen felt that led them to open fire on their classmates.
I think about the grief of the friends and families left behind.
I think about the far-reaching impact of that horrific day.
When I was in high school and college, I did many reports on the life of Rachel Scott, one girl whose life was cut short that day.
I poured over all the books published by her family about her life, her faith, and her passion to start a chain reaction of kindness and love.
She was real, authentic, and human. She had ups and downs. She had triumphs and struggles, and she didn’t cover them up.
She had big questions she asked God, and she poured her heart out to him. She lived a life that revealed her faith to those around her. She had a heart for people and for following after Christ.
The story of her life reached across the country to touch my heart and play a part in my own faith story.
Her authentic faith is a reminder that God is with us during the ups and downs. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He doesn’t expect us to have it all together.
He puts together the broken pieces of our hearts. He can transform us. He shines his light through us for others to see.
All he wants is a willing heart. All he wants is for us to love him and serve him. All he wants is for us to believe that he cared so much for us that he sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.
May our lives be a reflection of the love that God has for his people. May our faith be authentic.
Although we are all hurting in some way and have pain that we carry with us, we have the ability to impact the lives of the people around us. Never underestimate the simple willingness of being used by God. He can do big things. He can turn tragedy into a testimony. He can turn hurt into hope. What a mighty God!
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20 NIV)