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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outlook (06/02/11)

TITLE: I'd Rather Die
By Sarah Elisabeth
06/08/11


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“I’d rather die, and be with Jesus Christ my Savior.”

I stared at Janie as she spoke the words. They still floated through the air to my ears as the gun lifted to Janie’s face. I didn’t squeeze my eyes shut in time. The numbing shock of the moment stopped any tears.

When I did close my eyes, all I could see was Janie’s smiling face and the years spent with my best friend. We were as close as sisters—no, closer. Never a disagreement, an argument. Yet I wondered if Janie would be able to understand my overwhelming fears and doubts in this moment.

The line moved forward.

“Deny your Jesus and live.”

The woman ducked her head. Her reply was soft.

“Louder!”

“Okay, I—just…please let me go.”

The gun motioned her past. The line moved forward.

I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live. To see my family again—my children. What would they choose? What would I want them to choose? When would they be brought here to make this decision?

“Deny your Jesus and live.”

Another left unharmed. The line moved forward.

My mind buzzed. As often as the thought had come to me in the past, I hadn’t brought it to mind this morning. I guess I never wanted to believe it would come. Janie did. And she had been ready. She must’ve prepared this morning with prayer or something before we went grocery shopping together.

The men who had brought us in simply asked, “Do you claim to be a Christian?” Janie’s reply was immediate and unashamed. I never answered, just nodded.

“Deny your Jesus and live.”

The report of gunfire echoed seconds later. Gasps and screams filled the white walled room. Moments later, the line moved forward.

Did I really believe in Jesus? Yes; I knew that without a doubt. Could I say that to the muzzle of a gun? My palms turned pasty. My kids. My husband. I couldn’t leave them.

A dozen scriptures assaulted my soul, but I tuned them out. Janie was dead. I would be, too, if I professed my faith.

“Deny your Jesus and live.”

Another lived. The line moved forward.

Janie. Why had she done it? Had Jesus come for her?

Janie had no children as I did. Maybe that was why she was so free to answer the call. To die. I didn’t want to die.

“Deny your Jesus and live.”

As they freed the man, the line moved forward. I was next.

“Deny your Jesus and live.”

I stared at the floor stained with Janie’s blood. I looked at the muzzle of the gun. Finally, I met the eyes of the one who held it. They were cold. No life behind them.

The words came with a smoothness I’d never possessed. “God loves you.”

“Deny your Jesus and live!”

My knees almost buckled, but a sweet presence surrounded me. “I’d rather die and be with Jesus Christ, my Savior.”

A blazing light shone through to my soul. I saw Him coming for me.

The gun leveled on my face. I fell into the arms of my Savior.


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This article has been read 771 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jessica Turner-Stotz06/09/11
Simply incredible. I was glued to your writing from the first sentance, especially as it dawned on me what you were writing of as I read on. First I thought it was a suicide; then I knew and my whole heart sunk. Fantastic message. People need to read this article--even outside this forum. Very well written! Praise Jesus that I am free to worship Him in the open and not in the dark as so many have to. Thank you for blessing all of us with this reminder.
Janice Stotz06/09/11
Wow! My heart is still pounding! I feel like I was there, a witness to it all, no, experiencing it myself. This was very well written. I like writing that provokes, and yours really made me think! Great job!
Rachel Phelps06/11/11
Excellent drama and pacing. I was enthralled.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/12/11
Wow and again I say Wow. Prayer and having the right outlook outlook would definitely make it easier, but it still scares me. You did an outstanding job at making me feel like I was there. This is going to be in the top of the rankings for sure.
Colin Swann06/13/11
Very challenging - we may have to be making these sort of decisions sooner than we expect.
Meaningful writing of a master craftslady. Well done!
diana kay06/15/11
great story and you kept the tension well...
reminds me of something from the Killing Fields I could see it happening
Rachel Phelps06/16/11
Woot! I'm so glad this placed!