Dear Mike - My mom showed me how you asked at the end of your article
Bernalls for me to write a few words since I met Chris B. on my TeenMania
mission this past summer. First, one of the things about Chris
B. is that he
is not into the "fame" of the tragedy. He tries to look for the
good, to be
an example because of what he's been through. His whole testimony
of his sister, after her death he realized all her faith and wanted
like her. Starting high school for him was kinda rough.
And being a
skater/snowboarder/punk it was easy to fall into the wrong crowd.
such an ability to reach out to people. While on my mission trip,
form of evangelism was a drama we performed from site to site.
that its more than coincidence that Chris had the role of the Savior
play. One man actually asked to see "the Jesus" (say that with
accent) who was in the play. Chris got to pray with that man
to get saved.
He is like the kind of person that people are drawn to. But at
the same time
he is totally humble. He has had to go through many traumas bringing
the reality of that day at Columbine. Yet through it all, he
chooses love. I want to tell about the story that he told me
beginning of the school year, this August. He started at a Christian
school and was sitting outside at a picnic table with a group of sophomores
who had accepted him as "in" their group. He was hanging out
They were discussing the theme for homecoming. Out of the blue,
made a comment, something like: "Hey man, let's all wear trenchcoats..."
thinking this was funny. I don't know if he even knew who Chris
immediately, Chris was both infuriated and sickened. He told
me that he
wanted so bad to just hit the kid. He said to me: "Even if you
that's just not right." And then Chris told me that he stopped
about a verse in the Bible about forgiveness, about forgiving someone
they don't know the extent of what they have just done. He then turned
walked away. Now he is homeschooled because of all the hardships
school life. The over-all picture of Chris is someone who looks
past his own
suffering to serve others. I am very grateful that I had the
chance to meet
and become so close to him. About a month after Columbine, I
about how Colorado is so far away and how I didn't feel connected at
what had happened. I didn't even want to watch the News anymore.
day, I meet this kid who is right in the middle of what happened across
country from me. And then, it wasn't so far away. I know
I will never be
the same. Each day, at school, I try to live it to the fullest,
show Jesus as best I can. But the main lesson is forgiveness.
Chris is just
a regular kid. Cassie was the same. I don't look at my
friendship with the
Bernalls as a way of like, "bragging," or like wanting to "post" their
It shows me what a small world it is, and that deep down we're
all that far away. And, that Jesus isn't this huge far off thing
doesn't want to have anything to do with our lives, especially teenagers.
This summer I saw teenagers ready to change the world. I just
somehow I am changing my little corner for the best. The end.