This feels so vivid. So real. As if its my own story to tell.
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, i found myself in the room.
There were no distinguishing features sace for the one wall covered with small index-card files.
They were the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alaphabetical order.
But these files stretched from floor to ceiling tand seemingly endlessly in wither direction, had very different headings.
As i drew near the walls 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 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 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 curiousity coupled with horror, stirred within me as i began randomly opening files and exploring their contents.
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 the 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 brothers"
Others i couldn't laugh about: "Things i have done in anger" "Things i have muttered under my breath at my parents"
I never ceased to be suprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than i expected.
Sometimes there were fewer than i hope.
I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life i had lived. Could it be possible that i had the time in my my twenty years to write each of these thousands, possibly millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting.
Each signed with my own signature.
When i pulled out the file marked "Songs i have listened to " I realised the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were tightly packed 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 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 contents. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.
Suddenly i felt 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 frenzy i yanked the file out. Its size didnt matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards.
But as i took the file at on end and began pounding it to 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 in 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 couldnt 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 didnt 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 didnt say a word. He just cried with me.
Then he got up and walked back to the all of files.
Starting at one end of the room, he took out a file and one by one, begin to sign his name over mine on each card.
"No!" i shouted, rushing to him.
All i could say was "No no," as i pulled the cards from him
HIs name shouldnt be on these cards. But there it was, writeen in red, so rich , so dark, so alive.
The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written in his blood.
He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and continued to sign the cards.
I dont 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 were no lock on its door.
There were still cards to be written...