Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
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 . 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 endless 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 "Boys 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 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 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 years to fill 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 "TV Shows I Have Watched," 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 shows but more by the vast time I knew 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 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 in 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 they hurt. They 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 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 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.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
You're blessed when you're content with just who you are—no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought.
You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat.
You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full,' you find yourselves cared for.
You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family.
You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom.
Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds.
[And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.]"
Isn't it good to know that others have gone before us, and God isn't surprised by what happens?
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
- Senior Project at my church: helping out in the student ministry and girls ministry as well as helping out in the nursery for an hour each Sunday.
- PE credit: Team manager for my lil sis's soccer team. This means soccer practice on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, and games on Fridays and Saturdays. Oh me. What have I done. -_-
- Debate and Worldview classes on Thursday.
- Humanities class on Wednesday.
- French II on Tuesday.
- Babysitting on Friday nights (twice a month) and cleaning houses on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Gotta make some income somehow.
- PLUS. I am still running the Least of These ministry at my church.
- The Song of Roland - author unknown - medieval French literary work from 11th century
- The Divine Comedy - Dante
- The Decameron - Giovanni Boccaccio
- Caedmon's Hymn - oldest extant Old English poem composed between 658 and 680
- Radical - David Platt
- I would Die for You - Brent and Deanna Higgins
- Twelth Night
- Much Ado About Nothing
- As You Like It
- All's Well That Ends Well
- The Tempest
- The Genlemen of Verona
- No Doubt About It: The Case for Christianity - Winifried Corduan
- Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis
- Plato: Complete Works - Plato
- Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion: Eastern and Western Thought - William L. Reese
- Politics - Aristotle
- The Law - Bastiat
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
- Leviathon - Thomas Hobbes
- The Crucible - Arthur Miller
- Discourse on the Origin of Inequality - Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- Wealth of Nations - Adam Smith
- Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
- The Annals of Imperial Rome - Tacitus
- War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
- Myths from Mesopotamia - anonymous
- The Oresteia - Aeschylus
- The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories - Herodotus
- The Illiad - Homer
- On the Nature of Things - Lucretius
- History of the Peloponnesian War - Thucydides
- Clouds - Aristophanes
- Oedipus Rex - Sophocles
- City of God - Augustine