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A Woman of Faith

Watercolor painting of a young girl in neutral greys and greens.
Trust, Watercolor, Sara Joseph

What makes a woman of faith precious to the Lord? Is it her labor in His name, her actions prompted by faith, or her trust in His plans for her?

According to the Bible, it is the intimacy of our relationship with Him—the heart to heart exchange of our deepest thoughts for His wisdom and insight.

The account of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim in the Columbine massacre of April 20, 1999, expresses some aspects of that intimacy, which are worth exploring. Her official website is a labor of love by her family.

They tell a story of a courageous young woman who never made it past the first flush of youth. She was only 17 when she was gunned down in a violent school shooting, which has sadly now become commonplace.


He (She) shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his (her) heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. Psalm 112:7


Witnesses reported that when her assassin, a student at the Columbine High School, shot her once, he paused over her to ask her if she still believed in her God.

Her response was an unwavering, "You know I do!"

He then delivered the fatal shots that took her life.

But more than her courage, it is Rachel, the artist, who is the subject of this post.

She was prolific in recording her heart to heart conversations with Jesus in her numerous journals. Her entries are genuine and transparent, displaying a vulnerability that is endearing. She was a vivacious, yet ordinary teenager, with an extraordinary friendship with Jesus. He sorted through her teenage issues and gave her a calm sense of destiny, purpose and passion.

They shine a beacon of light not just on her generous and sweet personality, but also on the Jesus she came to know and love. The dialogs detailed in about 6 journals, tell the love story of a young girl and her God. He was not distant and remote, but a beloved friend, inspiring and guiding her, while shaping her view of the world.

In her youthful impatience, she asked in those pages ‘When will the world open and see ---the art in me.” I'll bet that it is a heart cry which resonates with you, as it did me. Her longing to be exceptional and to make a difference is no different from our desire as Christian artists.

This woman of faith drew so close to Jesus that when He told her that she was living her last year upon the earth, her response was one of gratitude for the years that she did have!

The depth and honesty of her communion, despite her youth, are what you and I must aspire to if we desire to create, in response to our fellowship with Him.

Thirty minutes before the bullet snuffed out her earthly life, she drew a simple ink sketch, which never surfaced until months later, because it was retained as evidence in the investigation following that horrific massacre. It was drawn in her last journal, which she carried in her backpack.

A phone call from stranger days after the tragedy seemed meaningless to her father. The caller told him that, in a dream, he had seen Rachel’s eyes with tears streaming from it. "Did it hold any significance for the family?" he asked. It did not appear important at the time until the backpack and its contents were returned to the family.

Drawn in the colorful journal, with a bullet hole through its pages, was her last entry – a simple little sketch.

It was a drawing in ink of Rachel’s eyes with 13 tears flowing down the page onto a rose: a tear for each of the 13 young students who lost their lives that day!

The rose that bloomed from within, became the inspiration for a grieving father to take his daughter’s message of compassion and love, to thousands of young people everywhere. It drew him closer to her God, who then imparted the grace to forgive her young assassins. It also began Rachel's Challenge, a ministry that continues to this day, decades after the tragedy, transforming the lives of countless young people.

Critics may claim that her drawing can boast little more than the status of a doodle—yet there is nothing casual about the prophetic power of this drawing!

This is the beauty of Christian Art, its ability to reach beyond the superficial and temporal into those mysterious aspects of the divine.

The poignant work of this woman of faith, along with her other sketches and writings, sparkle with an integrity that is rare. They retrieve, from the unplumbed depths of a vibrant relationship with God, truths that are rich and universal in meaning.

Simple tools were used for its creation, yet its impact is mind-boggling! It had no audience at the time of its creation, but Jesus. Yet millions of eyes behold its wonder today, comprehending only a fraction of its power.

God gave her the blue print of her life, one conversation at a time. Rachel, as a woman of faith, listened to Him and documented her journey.

What would it look like if you did the same? What truths would He reveal to you that could touch the world for His glory? What prophetic insights might He impart to you to lift the wounded into hope, the despairing into a vision of a blessed future, the sad into joy or the blind into perceiving the goodness of God?

Rachel was more than a woman of faith; she is a wonderful example of an authentic Christian artist—genuine, passionate, creative, relevant and timeless.

Strangely enough, I doubt she would have imagined reading this about herself!

Art ought to be reflective—expressing the nature of a magnificent God rather than glorifying the artist. Christian art possesses the spectacular possibility of speaking of things beyond comprehension, hints of the supernatural with a glancing touch, almost accidentally, yet ONLY by the hand of God. To aspire to such expression should be our prayer as Christian visual artists.

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