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 filing cabinets and small index card files inside. They were like the ones in the libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which were stretched from floor to ceiling and were seemingly endless 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 white cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realise that I recognised the names written on each one. And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. The lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalogue 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 Have Yelled At My Little Brother”. 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 even fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I have lived.
Could it be possible that I had the time in my life to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed the truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each was signed with my signature.
When I pulled out the file marked “Songs I Have Listened To”, I realised that 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 wasted time 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 this room! I have to destroy them!” In an instant frenzy I yanked the file out — its size didn’t matter now. I had to empty it and burn those 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 sigh it was hopeless I can’t get rid of the evidence.
And then I saw it. The file with the title “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 contained on one hand. And then the tears came. I began to weep with 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 wiped away the tears, I saw Him. No, please, not Him. Not here.
Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly as He began to 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 His 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 are still cards to be written… perfect cards
1Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.
1John 3: 6 -7 Whosoever abideth in Jesus does not sin whosoever sins has not seen Him, or known Him. Little children, let no man deceive you he that does righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous.
1John 3: 8-9 For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is Born of God does not commit sin for His seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin because he is Born of God.
Music- For Those Tears I died.