A fine mist fell, illuminated by the lights surrounding the football field. It was the beginning of the fourth quarter and the game had been one of those contests that was a battle from the very start. The stands were packed, faces tense, as the teams hustled back onto the field from a timeout. The tight end ignored his pulled muscle, the halfback rolled his right shoulder and the quarterback breathed slowly and deliberately, anticipating the snap. From the sidelines their coach called to them a phrase they repeated to themselves at every practice and every game. “All In!”
The student stood looking over the faces of her philosophy class. The professor was a persuasive fellow, likeable, handsome, and hateful of Christianity. First she had made an effort to gently question a few of his barbs. He was not one to back down, though, and the class had continued day after stressful day until it had reached the week of their final presentations. She didn’t know what made him think and feel so strongly, but he did. A few times she had asked herself if it was worth it to refute someone who appeared to be as immoveable as a boulder. Then she asked herself how she could sit and watch the face of Jesus be spit on one more time. As she took the podium, she whispered to herself, “All In”.
The mortar fire had been relentless. Company C had been reduced by a third, but the little town must be protected at all costs. They would keep defending while ten men drove out of the opposite side of the town and looped around to approach the aggressors from behind. They pushed every thought from their minds but one: All In.
They asked her one more time. Refute your faith in Christ or be whipped and hanged. Leave your children motherless, your husband a widower. Such a simple thing. Merely words. She looked back at her captors and said, “I will not”. The prayer she had prayed over the brutal weeks and months echoed in her mind. All In.
He laid on the bed, his breathing difficult and rough. He’d known this was coming as had his family. He’d known, but all the knowing didn’t make it easier, didn’t make it better. He’d lived his life as a Christian. He was by no means even close to perfect, but he was redeemed and that counted for everything. One other thing kept him calm and determined and curious. What was it really like on the other side of the curtain called mortality? He looked at the faces around him. Then he smiled and with his final breath said, “All In”.
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