A Powerful Story

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Subject: A Powerful Story
Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 20:16:42 -0400

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 
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 
moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.  A sense 
wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as began
randomly opening files and exploring their content.  Some brought joy
and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that 
would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.  A file 
"Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I have betrayed."  The 
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 
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
signature.  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 
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 
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 
Its size didn't mattered now. I had to empty it and burn the cards.  
as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could 
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  
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 
was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on 
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 
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 
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 
the cards.  I couldn't bear to watch His response.  And in the moments 
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 
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 
have said so many things.  But He didn't say a word.  He just cried 
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 
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 
with His blood.  He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile 
began to sign the cards.  I don't think I'll ever understand how He 
it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the 
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.  
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 
the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him 
not perish but have eternal life."
If you feel the same way forward it to as many people as you can so 
love of Jesus will touch their lives also.
My "People I shared the gospel with" file just got bigger; how about