As of this writing (July 5, 2017–publication will come later), I watched the movie “I’m Not Ashamed.” Although it is slow in parts, this was a pretty good movie and has taught me some very important lessons in life. This movie is based on the true-life story of Columbine martyr, Rachel Scott, whose life of faith and love has inspired me to pattern my life after hers. I also consider her to be one of my five faith heroes I list on my blog’s front page. Here’s what I learned about life through the telling of Rachel Scott’s story through this movie:
- Love, compassion, and perseverance go a long way.—Rachel’s love, compassion, and perseverance not only in this movie but also in her real life, have also inspired many (like me) to pattern their lives after hers. For instance, Rachel sees a guy taking the pizza from her youth group and was looking standoffish, and then he quickly leaves. Instead of ignoring him, she follows him into the street where he incidentally was living and confronts him. He later tells her that his name is Nate and to basically leave him alone. Knowing something is off about him, she persists and when he tries to steal food from a store to feed his ailing mom, she volunteers to pay for them with her meager paycheck. She doesn’t just stop there but continues to show him love and compassion as he eventually accepts Christ and grows in his faith. He then ends up helping her through tough times too. Also, when Rachel’s best friend Madison steals her then-boyfriend Alex, and Rachel catches them making out together, Rachel, by the end of the movie, ends up sending Madison a note of compassion and forgiveness for having betrayed her (Rachel). Most people when betrayed would either try to take vengeance on the offender or stay away from them and cut off relations completely with them. However, Rachel persisted in showing kindness and forgiveness to Madison even after she was betrayed by Madison. By the end of the movie, Madison also is touched by the forgiveness and love Rachel showed her before she (Rachel) died.
- Christians are not perfect.–Rachel was not the perfect Christian. She got in trouble by drinking and smoking with her girlfriends and her attempts to pursue a popular, attractive guy in school put her in situations where she wasn’t comfortable. She snuck out of her parents’ house–probably more than once. In the movie, it was even shown that Rachel attempted suicide once by jumping off a bridge near her home because she was so depressed. This does not mean us Christians are “bad” or “evil” people, but like everyone else, we come with problems and baggage. However, like I explained in #1, Rachel picked the dust off her feet, so to speak, and tried to do better next time, just like we all do, regardless of belief or lack thereof.
- Everyone has a story.–In the movie, Rachel’s story was intertwined with those of her killers, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Also, there were snippets of the story of Nate, Alex, and several of Rachel’s friends. The point is, though, that everyone has a life story, and if we care about changing the world for the positive, we need to listen to these stories! Sure we can’t “fix” everyone’s problems, and we probably shouldn’t always be trying to either, but if we know where people are coming from and their life goals and motivation, maybe we can encourage and support them better. Also, knowing other people’s stories helps us not only understand them better but also our own life story and how theirs can intersect beautifully with theirs. For instance, I believe God is using the people I work with, especially one of my managers, to help create not only a better life story for me, but also for them as well.
Though no one is perfect or better than another human being, showing love and compassion like Rachel Scott did will go a long way to change our world for the better. However, we must persevere even when life gets difficult in order to see results. We must also learn others’ stories to help not only we understand them better, but also ourselves better. Be a light to this world; it may just start a chain reaction!