place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room.
There were no distinguishing features except the one wall covered
index cards files. They were like the ones in libraries that list
author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which
from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction,
As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention
that read "Girls I Have Liked." I opened it and began
flipping through the
cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the
written on each one. And then, without being told, I knew exactly
This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system
life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and
small, in a
detail my memory couldn't match.
A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within
me as I
began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some
and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense
would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
A file named "Friends" was next to one marked
"Friends I have Betrayed." The
titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I
"Lies I have Told," "Comfort I Have Given,"
"Jokes I Have Laughed At," Some
were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I Have Yelled
Brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done
In My Anger,"
"Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath At My Parents."
I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were
cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I'd hoped. I was
the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that
the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even
cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my
handwriting and was signed with my own signature. When I pulled out
marked "Songs I have Listened To," I realized the files
grew to contain
their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or
yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so
the quality of the music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew
When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a
chill run through
my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its
and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt
think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage
One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these
cards! No one
must ever see this room! I have to destroy them." In an insane
yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty and
cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the
couldn't dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a
only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.
Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot.
forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And
saw it. The title bore "People I have Shared The Gospel
With." The handle
was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled
and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands.
count the cards it contained on one hand. And then the tears came.
I began to weep.
Sobs so deep that the hurt started in my stomach and shook through
fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the
shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled
one must ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.
But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him.
here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as he began opening
files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And
moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow
my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He
read every one? Finally He turned and looked at me from across the
looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't
me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to
He walked over to me and put His arm around me. He could have said
But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and
back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took
file and one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.
"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say
was, "No, no," as I
pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But
was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus
mine. It was written with His blood.
He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to
cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly,
next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back
side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is
finished." I stood
up and He led me out of the room.
There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John