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                         The Room

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

    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

    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

    This story is the best e-mail story I have ever
    read. "For God so loved the world that He gave
    His only son, that whoever believes in Him shall
    not perish but have eternal life."

    If you feel the same way forward it to as many
    people as you can so the love of Jesus will touch
    their lives also.

    My "People I shared the gospel with" file just got
    bigger; how about yours?

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