NOTE: SOME OF THIS POST IS SLIGHTLY GRAPHIC/SENSITIVE.
NOTE: All excerpts are from the biography written by Mistie Bernall- “She Said Yes.”
It is not impossible for God to reach anybody, whether it is you, me, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, or anybody else. It is not impossible for God to reach past the “easily reached” people and into the “darkness.” No not at all! One such example is Cassie Bernall, a girl murdered in the 90’s Littleton Massacre.
Cassie received her fame for her faith. A student who was in the Columbine High School Library- where Cassie was when she was murdered- gave this story:
“I couldn’t see anything when those guys [the two gunmen] came up to Cassie, but I could recognize her voice. I could hear everything like it was right next to me. One of them asked her if she believed in God. She paused, like she didn’t know what she was going to answer, and then said yes. She must have been scared, but her voice didn’t sound shaky. It was strong. Then they asked her why, though they didn’t give her a chance to respond. They just blew her away” (“She Said Yes”). “
According to the biography given in “She Said Yes” (written by Cassie’s mother, Mistie Bernall), Cassie not only believed in God, but had faith in Christ’s Atonement. This faith is what Jahar- and everybody else who does not have such- desperately needs.
Continuing, Cassie did not always have this faith. She was once the wild child of the family. She dabbled and supposedly gave her soul to Satan. Cassie drank, smoked pot, and committed so many immoral acts. In addition to all of these, along with her best friend Mona, Cassie planned to murder her parents.
Here is a partial exerpt talking about Mona’s letters to Cassie:
“…went on to discuss a teacher at the high school, Mrs. R., and invited Cassie, “Want to help me murder her? She called my parents and told them about my F.” The letter ended with a reminder about a “neat spell” drawings of knives and vampire teeth, mushrooms…
Most of the other letters were decorated as well- monkeys with vampire teeth, axes, knives, mushrooms (for mind-altering drugs)- or scribbled with spells and rhymed couplets…
In one letter the writer went to great lengths to describe how much she hated her father; in another, how much she adored Marilyn Manson. There was endless talk about the…”fun” of contraband alcohol, marijuana, and self-mutilation, and the adventures of a classmate whose girlfriend went to “this satanic church, cult thing where you have to drink a kitten’s blood to get in.”
Several of the letters advised Cassie to do away with us [Cassie’s parents] and thus solve her innumerable problems. One ended, “Kill your parents! Murder is the answer to all of your poblems. Make those scumbags pay for your suffering. Love you, me.”
Most of the letters were written by Cassie’s best friend, but as we later found out- both through the girl’s mother and by Cassie’s own admission- she too had written similar ones. In any case, the letters in our possession made it clear that even if she did not bear the main responsibility for committing the murderous fantasies to paper, our daughter [Cassie] was at the very least a willing accomplice. “
One of Cassie’s Christian friends commented after the shooting, saying that Cassie had struggled with coming to Christ, believing that she had literally gave her soul to Satan.
After finding the murder letters, Cassie’s parents, with the help of a youth leader, “dropped the ball” on Cassie- they kept her home, moved Cassie to a Christian school, constantly searched her room and her backpack, forbade phone calls, forced her to attend Sunday School, etc. Cassie was not even allowed to go out with her friends.
Yet one day, Cassie mentioned a youth retreat with this new Christian friend. Surprisingly (meaning, I think it was by God), Cassie’s parents allowed the retreat. During this retreat, Cassie found Christ! When she saw Mistie once back home, “she hugged me [Mistie], then looked me in the eye and said, “Mom, I’ve changed. I’ve totally changed. I know you are not going to believe it, but I’ll prove it to you.”
Brad, Cassie’s father, comments on the change Cassie went after this retreat:
“It was as if she had been in a dark room, and somebody had turned the light on, and she could suddenly see the beauty surrounding her.”
Cassie, in an old English essay, commented on her salvation: “It was only then that I was really able to see where I had gone astray. I had made bad choices, and there was nobody to blame but myself- something that I had denied constantly throughout my suffering.”
Praise the Lord, what an amazing testimony!
The point of all of this is that God has reached into the darkness before, and in no doubt can reach Jahar. I’ve NO DOUBT about this. After all, here is a girl that sold her soul to true darkness (which is pretty much the same thing as worshipping another god other than God) and planned her own parents’ murder (which is pretty much the same as murder, as thinking about it is the first step of the process). If God can reach Cassie, why cannot He reach Jahar? If God can reach me, why cannot He reach Cassie, Jahar, or anybody else?
Even MORE wonderful (if that’s possible!), God used a horrible, ugly tragedy to spread His wonderful Message. I remember when, before I was saved, I read an excerpt of this story in a Reader’s Digest magazine. It was a story that made me think, “Wake up, who am I kidding? I’m not saved!” No, I did not immediately convert, but this story was one of the things that made me realize the truth: I did not have Christ.
Cassie was murdered in a school shooting. That shooting took place on April 20, 1999. I read the magazine excerpt in the summer of 2012. That’s a THIRTEEN-YEAR gap! Coincidence? NO! Is Cassie’s testimony and God’s Power so weak as not to keep reaching others? No!
So let us remember- Christ can most certainly reach Jahar. When Jahar is saved (I say when because I have faith that Christ will reach him), his testimony of God’s love and mercy WILL reach others- whether it is one person or one thousand people. Jahar’s testimony will reach others- regardless of any measures placed upon him!
Praise our wonderful Lord, and keep praying in faith!