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I read 'She Said Yes' by Misty Bernall. The publishing company is The Plough Publishing House, and it is 140 pages long. Cassie Bernall, a 17 year old junior at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, was a typical teen having a typical day, when two rampaging classmates put a gun to her head and asked her if she believed in god. She said yes.
Its a story of growing up in the 90's, of peer pressure, adolescents, turmoil, and the role parents play; a story of tough choices and the battle between good and evil in every person. But in the end, its a story of redemption more enduring than the tragedy that cut Cassie Bernall's life short. It was a relatively simple question. Do you believe in God? On April 20 th, 1999 Cassie Ren'e Bernall said 'Yes'. It was the last word she would ever speak. On the day of the tragedy Cassie became a martyr for her God.
In the aftermath of the tragedy its easy to raise Cassie up the status of a saint. Cassie was nothing more then a typical teenager worried about their future, her looks and the things that almost every other teenager worries about, but Cassie also sported a deep love for her God. But it wasn't always that way. While Cassie had always been a sweet and loving child she took a turn for the worst in her teenage years, and headed down a dark, dangerous path, just like those ones as her killers. Her friends were less then good role models, Cassie became fascinated with witchcraft, drinking, suicide and perhaps the death of her parents. Fortunately, her parents found letters written to Cassie by a close friend which were talking about things that they could do to her parents that would be tragic.
Afraid of what might happen, the Bernall turned the letters over to the local police. A youth pastor spent a lot of time talking with Cassie, only to later say that there was no hope for her. But like most parents Cassia's wouldn't give up. The pulled her out her current school and enrolled her in a Christian school, they cut off all contact with her old friends, and basically put her under house arrest. Anything to get their sweet little girl back. Cassie hated them for it.
They also hated having to get so serious with their daughter. Cassias mom, Misty said 'As a parent struggling with that feeling of betrayal of a child that you love with all your being who was telling you that she hated you. But we knew what we felt was best for her and what we felt we had to do.' Then one day the Bernall's were convinced to send Cassie to attend a Christian youth retreat. It was the answer to all their prayers. Brad says 'When she left she was this gloomy, head down, say nothing girl. When she came back, her eyes were open and bright and she was bouncy and excited to tell us what had happened at the retreat.
It was like she was in a dark room. And somebody turned the light on, and she saw the beauty that was surrounding her.' She told her mom that she had changed and that she would prove it to her, and she did. But not long before her death on April 20 th Cassie and her mother talked about death, 'I dont know how we got on the topic but Cassie said to me 'Mom, it would be OK if I died, id be in a better place, and you know were id be.' Then came April 20 th 1999. It started out as a normal day everyone running their busy lives, when Misty Bernall got a call from her friend asking if she heard about the shooting at the school. She hadn't heard about it so she didn't think it was anything to horrible. When she got home she saw that there were hundreds of cop cars at the high school (only about 100 yards from their house) and then she knew it was serious.
She found out that two students Eric Harris and Dylan Kle bold had opened fire and started shooting anyone in their path. For hours she knew nothing about the health of her daughter or her son (that also attended that school. ) When her son came home later that day she knew something was wrong with Cassie. She later found out that she had died.
Cassie was doing her homework in the library when she heard shots from the hallway, no one knew what was doing on. Then the two killers charged into the library killing anyone that got in the way. When they approached Cassie they asked her if she believed in God and she said 'Yes'. Misty later learned about this heroic story a couple weeks later while talking to one of Cassie's friends who also were in the library that day, but survived. From this point on everyone's life had been changed. The book really help me understand how dangerous it can be at a place you feel completely safe.
I always felt that school would be the safest place to be at, but now I know that anything can happen. You shouldn't make fun of people because of what they look like because they could be plotting your death. Anyone could just carry a gun to school one day and start killing innocent people. You need to watch out, be aware of the people around you. And if you ever hear anyone talking about bringing a gun to school or saying they are going to kill someone, you need to tell a adult right away.
I now know that I would have said 'Yes' to the killers to. I know that I will remember this book 5 years from now because it really did change my life and the way I look at people. I dont just brush serious things off anymore. While reading the book I felt like I was one of Cassie's friends and I understood everything she was going through, and I felt hurt when she died. This tragedy hurt everyone in some way but I feel that reading the book makes people understand that much more.
This is a story of a mothers loss, of dreams and hopes ended by the cruel reality of death at an early age. So, would you have said 'Yes'. Now I have given up on everything else-I have found it to be the only way to really know Christ and to experience the might power that brought him back to life again, and to find out what it means to suffer and to die with him. So whatever it takes, I will be one who lives in the fresh newness of life of those who are alive from the dead.
April 18 th 1999.
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