Your Cross Outreach Ministry

 

                                                     

             Then Jesus said to his disciples,

"If anyone would come after me,  he must first deny himself and

take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life

will lose it, but whoever loses  his life for me will find it. 

      ( Matt. 16:24 )     

 

 

 

Real Help 4 Real Issues!  God Loves You!!

 

              

 

  

 

 

The Room

 


In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found

myself in the room. There were no Distinguishing

features save for the one wall covered with small index

card files. They were like the ones in Libraries that

listed the authors or subject in alphabetical order.

 

But

these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and

seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very

different readings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first

to catch my attention was the one that read, "People

 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 exactly where

 I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude

catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions

of every moment, big and small, in 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 brothers".

Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I have

done in my anger" "Things I have muttered

under my breath to my parents". I never ceased to

be surprised by the contents. Often there

were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes

fewer than I had

hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of life I

had lived. Could it  be possible that I have time in my

20 years to write each of these thousands of even

millions of cards? But each card confirmed this

truth. Each was written in my handwriting. Each

was 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 the 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 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 see these cards!

 no one must ever see this room!  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 those

 cards. But as I took it ad 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 strong as steel when I tried

to tear it.

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to

its slot. Leaning on 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 and

almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small

 box no 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 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 files shelves swirled in

 my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever know

of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But 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

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 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 own 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.

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