The File Room


I got this story from a fellow writer Mrs. Helen Olenjin. She is not sure who wrote the story, but I hope that this story be a blessing to you as it was for me.
 
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in a 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 “Friends I Have Made”.  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.  The file named “Friends I Have Made” 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 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 30 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 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 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 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… 
Until the whole world hears…   
  
   Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.          Psalms 100:4-5 

Author: angelcasiano

An independent thinker with a profound call to see the orthodoxy of the church and passion for Christ manifesting together. Angel was born in Brooklyn, New York in April of 1968, he was raised on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico where he earned his B.S. degree in Sociology with a minor in Education from the Inter American University in San Germán in 1991. That same year he moved to Jacksonville, Florida. After working construction jobs for a year and learning the English language, his first job working with foster-care children in the capacity of youth care worker was with Jacksonville Youth Sanctuary in September of 1992. With JYS he was promoted several times as group home supervisor, legal caseworker, and program director. While in Jacksonville, Angel studied a couple of martial arts styles. After earning his black belt, he became the founder of Good Fight Ministries as he used martial arts as an instrument to preach the gospel. In 2004 Angel was selected Martial Arts Instructor of the Year for the State of Florida and in 2005 Angel was inducted in the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame where he also received the Christian Spirit Award. In July of 2005 Angel accepted his call to pastor a bilingual church in Winton, NC where he served for a couple of years. Five months later he lost his first wife to cancer in December of that same year. This initiated a deep valley of suffering in his life, a mountain of costly mistakes and the embracing of lifestyles of sin that are well documented through this blog. In August of 2012 Angel moved to Fairbanks Alaska with his wife Rayette Casiano and six children who are now adults. In Alaska, Angel continued his social work-related career and his ministry of preaching, teaching and writing. Angel is the author of two books, Hope for the divorcee: Forgiving and Moving Forward and 7 Banderas de Esperanza: La Bendición de Yokdzonot. In January 8th of 2020 Angel and his wife moved to Arizona.

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