Tragedy Turned Triump-Masey McLain Reflects on Columbine Shooting and Life of Rachel Scott

Tragedy fills our news headlines with active shooter incidents. According to the Washington Post, the FBI identified 160 active shooter incidents where one or more shooters “actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area,” including schools, malls and office buildings. The FBI found that education environments including K-12 and colleges were the second highest location with 39 total incidents from 2000-2013. It is unfortunate that they have become so common that people have to ask “Which one?”

Even with so many school shootings, many people remember the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999 where two students would murder twelve students and one teacher and then take their own lives. The first murder victim, 17-year-old, Rachel Scott was having lunch with a friend when the shooter shot her multiple times and then pointed a gun to her head and asked, “Do you still believe in your God?” Scott has become the inspiration for a new movie, I Am Not Ashamed. We recently sat down with Masey McLain who will portray Scott and talked about how she prepared for the role and how Rachel’s life inspired her to think about what she is willing to lay her own life down for.

Masey shared with us how she prepared for the role of Rachel Scott and how Rachel’s faith impacted her.

 “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:20-21

“It was really awesome going through all of Rachel’s journals and even talking to her mom. I’m not Rachel, and Rachel’s not me, and we’ll never be the same person. But it was amazing some of the ways we really were similar, and the way I was able to empathize with her, and relate with her. One way I was really able to relate with her was her desire to please God. Sometimes she would have the feeling that she wasn’t doing enough, or that she knew she could be doing better than what she was doing. I think we all struggle with that feeling of maybe disappointing God, and wanting to hear the words “well done,” and wanting to know that you’re pleasing Him. And then, when you know you’ve messed up really bad, that feeling of disappointing God – that is just the worst feeling ever. That was really big with Rachel. When she did feel like she disappointed God, those were her lowest moments, and I’ve experienced that. In doing this whole film, I hope I never forget a single thing.

“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

It definitely impacted my faith in the way that even though Rachel wasn’t perfect, what I loved about her was she wanted to do absolutely everything she could to lay down her life for Jesus. So, in my own faith, and going through my mind since doing this and while filming this was, “What am I doing to lay down my life for Jesus? Am I too comfortable, and what does it look like for me in my everyday life?” In my own faith I’ve been praying that the Lord change me and open my eyes to what it looks like to pick up my cross everyday and follow Him, and to lay down my life. There’s so much joy in following Jesus, but there’s also a level of, “Do you want to be successful, or do you want to lay down your life for Jesus?” Especially in the entertainment world. We climb the ladder, climb the ladder, climb the ladder, and it’s awesome, and the blessing is great, but at the same time, [we ask] “Is it too easy? And am I too comfortable?”

Tomorrow is not promised. However, rather than live in fear, we need to have faith and trust God. Each day presents itself with opportunities to share our faith. Rachel Scott’s life serves as a good reminder to be bold about our faith even in the face of death. Each of us wants to hear God say, “Well done good and faithful servant,” and each day is an opportunity to live and be a witness for Him.

Risen Reflections

Stand up for what you believe in! Whether it is a classmate that gives you a hard time or a co-worker that puts you down for reading your Bible, each of us knows someone who disagrees with Christianity. Rather than hide your faith, look for ways to share what you believe. It might be a thought-provoking question or an act of service that bridges the conversation to sharing Christ.

What are you living for? Are you living a life of comfortable Christianity? Or are you willing to serve Christ no matter what the cost? Living a life pleasing to Christ means that you will most likely “offend” others. Your reputation with co-workers and friendships with classmates might be jeopardized. Take time to pray and reflect. Ask God to show you what He wants you to be living for.

Bring a friend to go see I Am Not Ashamed. It could be your friends from Bible study or a friend you are trying to reach out to, the movie will no doubt encourage and challenge us to think about how we are living our lives for Christ. Take time after the movie to discuss what you saw and how it impacted you.

If someone you know has mentioned hurting themselves or hurting others, don’t hesitate! Help them to get help. Go to a guidance counselor, teacher, youth pastor or police officer. It might be hard at first, but remember you could potentially save someone’s life.

To read our entire interview with Masey McLain click here.