Power of Prayer
Be a person of prayer...
Those of us committed to a lifestyle of loving the world need to learn to pray, to be sensitive to the Lord's nudges, to regularly spend time at the throne.
A missionary on furlough told this true story while visiting his home church in Michigan...
While serving at a small field hospital in Africa, every two weeks I traveled by bicycle through the jungle to a nearby city for supplies. This was a journey of two days and required camping overnight at the halfway point. On one of these journeys, I arrived in the city where I planned to collect money from a bank, purchase medicine and supplies, and then begin my two-day journey back to the field hospital.
Upon arrival In the city, I observed two men fighting, one of whom had been seriously injured. I treated him for his injuries and at the same time witnessed to him of Lord Jesus Christ. I then travel two days, camping overnight, and arrived home without incident.
Two weeks later I repeated my journey. Upon arriving in the city, I was approached by the young man I had treated. He told me that he had known I carried money and medicines. He said, "Some friends and I followed you into the jungle, knowing you would camp overnight. We planned to kill you and take your money and drugs. But just as we were about to move into your camp, we saw that you were surrounded by 26 armed guards."
At this I laughed and said that I was certainly all alone out in that jungle campsite. The young man pressed the point, however, and said "No sir, I was not the only person to see the guards. My five friends also saw them, and we all counted them. It was because of those guards that we were afraid and left you alone."
At this point in the sermon, one of the men in the congregation jumped to his feet and interrupted the missionary and asked if he could tell him the exact day that this happened. The missionary told the congregation the date, and the man who interrupted told him this story:
"On the night of your incident in Africa, it was morning here and I was preparing to go play golf. I was about to putt when I felt the urge to pray for you. In fact, the urging of the Lord was so strong, I called men in this church to meet with me here in the sanctuary to pray for you. Would all of those men who met with me on that day stand up?"
The men who had met together that day stood up. The missionary wasn't concerned with who they were -- he was to busy counting how many men he saw.
There were 26.
Author Unknown (Source:
Prayer Upsets Some People
Thought you might enjoy this interesting prayer given in Kansas at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people.
When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:
"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, "Woe to those who call evil good", but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that.
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism;
We have worshipped other gods and called it multicultism
We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle;
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery;
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare;
We have killed our unborn and called it choice;
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable;
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem;
We have abused power and called it politics;
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition;
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression;
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent: to direct us to the center of Your will and to openly ask these things in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen."
The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest.
In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa, and Korea.
Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, "The Rest of the Story", and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.
With the Lord's help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called "one nation under God".
If possible, please pass this prayer on to your friends. "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for everything."
Author Unknown (Source:
Ruth went to her mailbox and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:
I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer." With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner."
She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least." She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk...leaving Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday.
Nonetheless, she felt as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm. "Hey lady, can you help us, lady?" Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.
"Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it." Ruth looked at them both.
They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. "Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."
"Yeah, well, OK lady, I understand. Thanks anyway."
The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart. "Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man her grocery bag. "Thank you lady. Thank you very much!" "Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.
"You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. "Thank you lady! Thank you very much!"
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.
The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed
Author Unknown (Source:
The Art of Worship
How wonderful, how beautiful
the sight of thee must be,
thine endless wisdom, boundless power
and awful purity.
O how I fear thee, living god,
with deepest, tenderest fears,
and worship thee with trembling hope
and penitential tears.
Only to sit and think of god,
oh, what joy it is!
To think the thought, to breathe the name,
earth has no higher bliss!
Father of Jesus, love's reward,
what rapture will it be,
prostrate before thy throne to lie
and gaze, and gaze on thee.
Author Unknown (Source:
There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass thru freely. But at certain times each day, a train would come and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.
A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place when a train crossed.
One evening as the switchman was waiting for the light of the day to come, he looked off into the distance thru the dim twilight and caught sight of the trainlights. He stepped to the controls and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance within the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not secure in position, it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came on to it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.
He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch that could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the switch back firmly as the train crossed.
He could hear the rumble of the train now. He took hold of the lever and kept applying the pressure to keep mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man's strength.
Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control room, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. "Daddy, where are you?"
His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time.
He almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him but he realized that he would not be able to get back to the lever in time. Either the people on the train or his little son must die.
He took a moment to make his decision. The train sped safely about, on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body, thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed. They did not see him walk home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how the child had brutally died.
Now if you comprehend the emotions which went this man's heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Father in Heaven when He allowed His Son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life.
Can there be any wonder that He caused the earth to tremble and the skies to darken as His Son died? How does He feel when we speed along thru life without any thought to what was done for us thru Jesus Christ?
When was the last time you thanked Him for the sacrifice of His Son?
Based on a true story (Source:
"Why was my burden so heavy?" I slammed the bedroom door and leaned against it. Is there no rest from this life? I wondered. I stumbled to my bed and dropped onto it, pressing my pillow around my ears to shut out the noise of my existence.
"Oh God," I cried, "let me sleep. Let me sleep forever and never wake up!"
With a deep sob I tried to will myself into oblivion, then welcomed the blackness that came over me.
Light surrounded me as I regained consciousness. I focused on its source: The figure of a man standing before a cross.
"My child," the person asked, "why did you want to come to Me before I am ready to call you?"
"Lord, I'm sorry. It's just that... I can't go on. You see how hard it is for me. Look at this awful burden on my back. I simply can't carry it anymore."
"But haven't I told you to cast all of your burdens upon Me, because I care for you? My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
"I knew You would say that. But why does mine have to be so heavy?"
"My child, everyone in the world has a burden. Perhaps you would like to
try a different one?"
"I can do that?"
He pointed to several burdens lying at His feet. "You may try any of these."
All of them seemed to be of equal size. But each was labeled with a name.
"There's Joan's," I said. Joan was married to a wealthy businessman. She lived in a sprawling estate and dresssed her three daughters in the prettiest designer clothes. Sometimes she drove me to church in her Cadillac when
my car was broken.
"Let me try that one." How difficult could her burden be? I thought.
The Lord removed my burden and placed Joan's on my shoulders. I sank my knees beneath its weight. "Take it off!" I said. ""What makes it so heavy?"
I untied the straps and opened the top. Inside was a figure of her Mother-in-law, and when I lifted it out, it began to speak.
"Joan, you'll never be good enough for my son," it began. "He never should have married you. You're a terrrible mother to my grandchildren..."
I quickly placed the figure back in the pack and withdrew another. It was Donna, Joan's youngest daughter. Her head was bandaged from the surgery that had failed to resolve her epilepsy. A third figure was Joan's brother.
Addicted to drugs, he had been convicted of killing a police officer.
"I see why her burden is so heavy, Lord. But she's always smiling and
helping others. I didn't realize...."
"Would you like to try another?" He asked quietly.
I tested several. Paula's felt heavy: She was raising four small boys without a father. Debra's did too: A childhood of sexual abuse and a marriage of emotional abuse. When I Came to Ruth's burden, I didn't even
try. I knew that inside I would find arthritis, old age, a demanding full-time job, and a beloved husband in a nursing home.
"They're all too heavy, Lord" I said. ""Give back my own."
As I lifted the familiar load once again, It seemed much lighter than the others.
"Lets look inside" He said.
I turned away, holding it close. "That's not a good idea," I said.
"There's a lot of junk in there."
"Let Me see."
The gentle thunder of His voice compelled me. I opened my burden.
He pulled out a brick.
"Tell me about this one."
"Lord, You know. It's money. I know we don't suffer like people in some countries or even the homeless here in America. But we have no insurance, and when the kids get sick, we can't always take them to the doctor. They've never been to a dentist. And I'm tired of dressing them in hand-me-downs."
"My child, I will supply all of your needs... and your children's. I've given them healthy bodies. I will teach them that expensive clothing doesn't make a person valuable in My sight."
Then He lifted out the figure of a small boy. "And this?" He asked.
"Andrew..." I hung my head, ashamed to call my son a burden. "But, Lord, he's hyperactive. He's not quiet like the other two. He makes me so tired. He's always getting hurt, and someone is bound to think I abuse him. I yell at him all the time. Someday I may really hurt him...."
"My child," He said, "If you trust Me, I will renew your strength, if you allow Me to fill you with My Spirit, I will give you patience."
Then He took some pebbles from my burden.
"Yes, Lord," I said with a sigh. "Those are small. But they're important. I hate my hair. It's thin, and I can't make it look nice. I can't afford to go to the beauty shop. I'm overweight and can't stay on a diet. I hate all my clothes. I hate the way I look!"
"My child, people look at your outward appearance, but I look at your heart. By My Spirit you can gain self-control to lose weight. But your beauty should not come from outward appearance. Instead, it should come from your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in My sight."
My burden now seemed lighter than before.
"I guess I can handle it now" I said.
"There is more," He said. "Hand Me that last brick."
"Oh, You don't have to take that. I can handle it."
"My child, give it to Me." Again His voice compelled me. He reached out His hand, and for the first time I saw the ugly wound.
"But, Lord, this brick is so awful, so nasty, so.....Lord! What happened to Your hands? They're so scarred!"
No longer focused on my burden, I looked for the first time into His face. In His brow were ragged scars-as though someone had pressed thorns into His flesh.
"Lord," I whispered. "What happened to You?"
His loving eyes reached into my soul.
"My child, you know. Hand Me the brick. It belongs to Me. I bought it."
"With My blood."
"But why, Lord?"
"Because I have loved you with an everlasting love. Give it to Me."
I placed the filthy brick into His wounded palm. It contained all the dirt and evil of my life: my pride, my selfishness, the depression that constantly tormented me. He turned to the cross and hurled my brick into the pool of blood at its base. It hardly made a ripple.
"Now, My child, you need to go back. I will be with you always. When you are troubled, call to Me and I will help you and show you things you cannot imagine now."
"Yes, Lord, I will call on You."
I reached to pick up my burden.
"You may leave that here if you wish. You see all these burdens? They are the ones that others have left at My feet. Joan's, Paula's, Debra's, Ruth's..... When you leave your burden here, I carry it with you. Remember, My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
As I placed my burden with Him, the light began to fade. Yet I heard Him whisper, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
A peace flooded my soul.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28, NIV)
And upon his outer garment, even upon his thigh, he has a name written,
King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:16, NWT)
Author Unknown (Source:
The I CAN'T Funeral
Donna's fourth grade classroom looked like many others I had seen in the past. Students sat in five rows of six desks. The teacher's desk was in front and faced the students. The bulletin board featured student work. IN most respects it appeared to be a typically traditional elementary classroom. Yet something seemed different that day I entered it for the first time. There seemed to be an undercurrent of excitement.
Donna was a veteran small-town Michigan school-teacher only two years away form retirement. In addition she was a volunteer participant in a country-wide staff development project I had organized and facilitated. The training focused on language arts ideas that would empower students to feel good about themselves and take charge of their lives. Donna's job was to attend training sessions and implement the concepts being presented. My job was to make classroom visitations and encourage implementation.
I took an empty seat in the back of the room and watched. All the students were working on a task, filling a sheet of notebook paper with thoughts and ideas. The ten-year-old student next to me was filling her page with "I Can'ts".
"I can't kick the soccer ball past second base."
"I can't do long division with more than three numerals."
"I can't get Debbie to like me."
Her page was half full and she showed no signs of letting up. She worked on with determination and persistence.
I walked down the row glancing in student's papers. Everyone was writing sentences, describing things they couldn't do.
"I can't do ten push-ups."
"I can't hit one over the left hand fence."
"I can't eat only one cookie."
By this time the activity engaged my curiosity, so I decided to check with the teacher to see what was going on. As I approached her, I noticed that she too was busy writing. I felt it best not to interrupt.
"I can't get John's mother to come for a teacher conference."
"I can't get my daughter to put gas in the car."
"I can't get Alan to use words instead of fists."
Thwarted in my efforts to determine why students and teacher were dwelling on the negative instead of writing the more positive "I Can" statements, I returned to my seat and continued my observations. Students wrote for another ten minutes. Most filled their page. Some started another.
"Finish the one you're on and don't start a new one,." were the instructions Donna used to signal the end of the activity. Students were then instructed to fold the papers in half and bring them to the front. When the students reached their teacher's desk, they placed their "I Can't" statements into an empty shoe box.
When all of the students papers were collected, Donna added hers. She put the lid on the box, tucked it under her arm and headed out the door and down the hall. Students followed the teacher. I followed the students.
Halfway down the hallway the procession stopped. Donna entered the custodian's room rummaged around and came out with a shovel. Shovel in one hand, shoe box in the other, Donna marched the students out to the school to the farthest corner of the playground. There they began to dig.
They were going to bury their "I Can'ts"! The digging took over ten minutes because most of the fourth graders wanted a turn. When the hole approached three fee deep, the digging ended. The box of "I Can'ts" was placed in a position at the bottom of the hole and then quickly covered with dirt.
Thirty one 10 and 11-year-olds stood around the freshly dug rave site. Each had at least one page full of "I Can'ts" in the shoe box, four feet under. So did their teacher.
At this point Donna announced, "Boys and girls, please join hands and bow your heads." The students complied. They quickly formed a circle around the grave, creating a bond with their hands. They lowered their heads and waited. Donna delivered the eulogy.
"Friends, we gather here today to honor the memory of 'I Can't.' While he was with us here on earth, he touched, the lives or everyone, some more than others. His name unfortunately, has been spoken in every public building- school, city halls, state capitols, and yes, even The White House.
"We have provided 'I Can't' with a final resting place and a headstone that contained his epitaph. His is survived by his brothers and sisters, 'I Can,' 'I Will' and 'I'm Going to Right Away.' They are not as well known as their famous relative and are certainly not as strong and powerful yet. Perhaps some day, with your help, they will make an even bigger mark on the world.
"May 'I Can't' rest in peace and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in his absence. Amen."
As I listened to the eulogy I realized that these students would never forget this day. The activity was symbolic, a metaphor for life. It was a right brain experience that would stick in the unconscious and conscious mind forever.
Writing "I Can'ts", burying then and hearing the eulogy. That was a major effort on this part of the teacher. And she wasn't done yet. At the conclusion of the eulogy she turned the students around, marched them back into the classroom and held a wake.
They celebrated the passing of "I Can't" with cookies, popcorn and fruit juices. As part of the celebration, Donna cut a large tombstone from butcher paper. She wrote the words "I Can't" at the top and put RIP in the middle. The date was added at the bottom.
The paper tombstone hung in Donna's classroom for the remainder of the year. On those rare occasions when a student forgot and said, "I Can't", Donna simply pointed to the RIP sign. The student then remembered that "I Can't" was dead and chose to rephrase the statement.
I wasn't one of Donna's students. She was one of mine. Yet that day I learned an enduring lesson from her.
Now, years later, whenever I hear the phrase, "I Can't," I see images of that fourth grade funeral. Like the students, I remember that "I Can't" is dead.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Remember, this verse says "all" not "a few" things.
Author Unknown (Source:
The Portrait of a Rich Man's Son
Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they travelled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate. The widowed elder man looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector. The son's trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors around the world.
As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His beloved son was missing in action. The art collector anxiously awaited more news, fearing he would never see his son again. Within days, his fears were confirmed. The young man had died while rushing a fellow soldier to a medic. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season - a season that he and his son had so looked forward to - would visit his house no longer.
On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home. As he opened the door, he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand. He introduced himself to the man by saying, "I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you."
As the two began to talk, the solider told of how the man's son had told everyone of his not to mention his father's love of fine art. "I'm an artist," said the soldier, "and I want to give you this." As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man's son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man's face in striking detail.
Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace.
A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace, pushing aside thousands of dollars of paintings. And then the man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given.
During the days and weeks that followed, the man realized that even though his son was no longer with him, the boy's life would live on because of those he had touched. He would soon learn that his son had rescued dozens of wounded soldiers before a bullet stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his son's gallantry continued to reach him, fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease the grief. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamoured.
He told his neighbours it was the greatest gift he had ever received.
The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world was in anticipation. With the collector's passing, and his only son dead, those paintings would be sold at an auction. According to the will of the old man, all of the art works would be auctioned on Christmas day, the day he had received his greatest gift. The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world's most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many would claim "I have the greatest collection."
The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum's list. It was the painting of the man's son.
The auctioneer asked for an opening bid. The room was silent. "Who will open the bidding with $100?" he asked.
Minutes passed. No one spoke. From the back of the room came, "Who cares about that painting? It's just a picture of his son. Let's forget it and go on to the good stuff." More voices echoed in agreement. "No, we have to sell this one first," replied the auctioneer. "Now, who will take the son?"
Finally, a friend of the old man spoke.
"Will you take ten dollars for the painting? That's all I have. I knew the boy, so I'd like to have it." "I have ten dollars. Will anyone go higher?" called the auctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said, "Going once, going twice. Gone." The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, "Now we can get on with it and we can bid on these treasures!"
The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over. Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked, "What do you mean it's over? We didn't come here for a picture of some old guy's son What about all of these paintings? There are millions of dollars of art here! I demand that you explain what's going on here!."
The auctioneer replied, "It's very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son..gets it all."
Puts things into perspective, doesn't it? Just as those art collectors discovered on that Christmas day, the message is still the same - the love of a Father - a Father whose greatest joy came from his son who went away and gave his life rescuing others. And because of that Father's love..whoever takes the Son gets it all.
Dear friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, this story illustrated the love of our Father in Heaven, our GOD, for us. He sacrificed His beloved Son and whosoever would believe in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. The is the greatest gift of love to each one of us.
Author Unknown (Source:
Bible Presbyterian Church of Western Australia. )
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 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 "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 my every moment, big and
small, in a 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've Yelled at My 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 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
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
When I came to a 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
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
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 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 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 overwheming
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 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
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 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.
Author Unknown (Source: