In the place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in a room. There were no distinguishing features save for one wall covered with small index card files. They were like the ones in the libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, having very different headings. As I drew near the wall of the 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. Then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system of my life. Here were written the actions of my ever moment, big and small, in a detail my memory could not 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, as I looked I saw the card marked Friends I had Betrayed. The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird - Books I Had Read, Lies I Had Told, Comfort I Had Given, Jokes I Had Laughed At - some were almost hilarious in their exactness: Things I Had Yelled At My Brothers. Others I couldn't laugh at: Things I Had Done In My Anger, Things I Had Muttered Under My Breath At My Parents. I never ceased to be amazed by the contents. Often, there where many more cards then I expected. Sometimes fewer than I had 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 thirty years 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 signed with my signature.
When I pulled out the file marked Songs I Had 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 vas amount of time I knew the file represented. When I came to the 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 an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it, and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and begin pounding it on the floor, I couldn't 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 a wall, I let out a long and 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 cards it contained on one hand. And then the tears came. I begin 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. When I could finally bring myself to look at His face, I saw 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 begin 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 pure, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written in 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.
Thanks to Patty Wilcox for the e-mail of this wonderful story of the love and forgiveness of God. I pray that if you have not received this forgiveness of God that you would ask Christ to come into your life today. To forgive your sins and make you a New person in Him. All you have to do is to say, Jesus forgive me, help me to live for you, come into my life. Will you do this today, if you do you will know in your heart, "It is finished."
Let us know if you have made that decision!Rev. Ken Ervin