The Room…

The Room…

by Glen on 2001-01-29 19:51:14

In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room.
There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with
small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles
by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched
from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very
different headings.

As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one
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 names
written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room
with its small files was a crude catalog system for my 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 brought joy
and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I
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 Have Read,”
“Lies I Have Told,” “Comfort I have Given,” “Jokes I Have Laughed at.” Some
were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve yelled at my
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 many more
cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the
sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the
time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of
cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own
handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file 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 three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file. I shut it,
shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of
time I knew that file represented.

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 size,
and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to
think that such a moment had been recorded. An almost animal rage broke on
me.

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 insane frenzy I yanked the
file out. Its size didn’t mattered now. I had to empty it and burn the cards.
But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not
dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, 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. Leaning my
forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I
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 on its handle
and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could
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 me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out
of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves
swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, 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. Not here.
Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and
read the cards. I couldn’t bear to watch His response. And in the moments I
could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He
seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every
one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with
pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn’t anger me. I dropped my
head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over
and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn’t
say a word. He just cried with me. Then He got up and walked back to the wall
of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a 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 there it was, written in red so
rich, so dark, so alive.

The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood. He gently took
the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don’t
think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it
seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my 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.” Phil. 4:13

“For God so loved the

world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not
perish but have eternal life.”

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