The Ballestero Blog

"That's what I'm talking about!"

The Wall of Life

with 6 comments

Over ten years ago, I heard this read by my daughter in law Courtney, and acted out by my son Martyn II during a Church Anniversary Service. – MJB

The Wall of Life

by

Joshua Harris

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 “Girls I 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 Betrayed”.

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. “Books I Read”, “Lies I Told”, “Comfort I Gave”, “Jokes I Laughed At”. Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: “Things I’ve Yelled at My Brothers.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I Did in Anger”, “Things I 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 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 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 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.

††

(Thanks to Sis. Eunice Padgett for finding the author’s name for me. He also wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye.)

Written by Martyn Ballestero

May 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

Posted in Mercy

6 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Oh I am crying reading that. God is so Good!!

    marciajune

    May 24, 2010 at 9:18 am

  2. I sat and cried as I read this. Thank God for his mercy. Thank God for his forgiveness. Thank God for the Blood. I will pass this on to others. Thank you Bro. Ballestero for sharing.

    Patsy

    May 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm

  3. I’d like do see if Our Pastor Luke would let us do this ! It’s a wonderful message and i would love this to be re-acted in our church if they agree. So may we please use it if they gave permission!I Just can get a couple to help! and It Will Be an honor to do this!
    I will call them to get permission first though! Thanks so much! and pray for us all( The Wood family)

    Annette Wood

    May 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    • I am not the author so my permission doesn’t count. Other than that you are welcome to use it.

      mballestero

      May 24, 2010 at 8:05 pm

  4. I have read this before but it makes me cry everytime and makes me really appreciate God’s Mercy!! Thanks for posting it! 🙂

    Darlene

    May 24, 2010 at 11:33 pm

  5. This is such a powerful narrative!

    MJB2

    May 25, 2010 at 10:09 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: