A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files. 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 were 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 Anger," "Things I Have muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.
The sheer volume of the life I had lived over-whelmed me. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of theses 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 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 ashamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of 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 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 over me. One though 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 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 hopeless, 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 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 over-whelming 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 sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go 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 to me 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 file 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, and so alive. The name of Jesus covered min. It was written in 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."