We Cannot Keep Secrets From God
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 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 "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 of my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory could not 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 DONE IN 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 over whelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 16 years to write each on of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed its 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 the 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 shuttered 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 must 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 the words, "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 the hurt started at 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 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, but in the moments I could bring myself to glance at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed intuitively to 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 awesome 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 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." . ."
But, there it was, written in red, so rich and dark, so alive . . . the name of Jesus covered mine. He smiled a sad smile and continued 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.
Every man's work
shall be made manifest:
for the day shall declare it,
because it shall be revealed by fire;
and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1 Corinthians 3:13
Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done in earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For Thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
"The Old Rugged Cross"
(A true tale about the author of this story...)
Procrastinating as usual, 17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting. It was his turn to lead the discussion so he sat down and wrote.
He showed the essay, titled "The Room" to his mother, Beth, before he headed out the door. "I wowed 'em." he later told his father, Bruce. "It's a killer, It's the bomb. It's the best thing I ever wrote." It also was the last. Brian's parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it while cleaning out the teenager's locker at Teary Valley High School.
Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every piece of his life near them - the crepe paper that had adorned his locker during his senior football season, notes from classmates and teachers, his homework. Only two months before, he had handwritten the essay about encountering Jesus in a file room full of cards detailing every moment of the teen's life. But it was only after Brian's death that Beth and Bruce Moore realized that their son had described his view of heaven. "It makes such an impact that people want to share it. You feel like you are there," Mr. Moore said.
Brian Moore died May 27, 1997 - the day after Memorial Day. He was driving home from a friend's house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole. He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted.
Brian seemed to excel at everything he did. He was an honor student. He told his parents he loved them "a hundred times a day", Mrs. Moore said. He was a star wide receiver for the Teary's Valley Football team and had earned a four-year scholarship to Capital University in Columbus because of his athletic and academic abilities. He took it upon himself to learn how to help a fellow student who used a wheelchair at school. During one homecoming ceremony, Brian walked on his tiptoes so that the girl he was escorting wouldn't be embarrassed about being taller than him. He adored his kid brother, Bruce, now 14. He often escorted his grandmother, Evelyn Moore, who lives in Columbus, to church. "I always called him the deep thinker", Evelyn said of her eldest grandson.
Two years after his death, his family still struggles to understand why Brian was taken from them. They find comfort at the cemetery where Brian is buried, just a few blocks from their home. They visit daily. A candle and dozens of silk and real flowers keep vigil over the gravesite. The Moore's framed a copy of Brian's essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room. "I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it Mrs. Moore said of the essay. She and her husband want to share their son's vision of life after death. I'm happy for Brian. I know he's in heaven. I know I'll see him again someday." Mrs. Moore said. "It just hurts so bad now."
Story UPDATE from TruthOrFiction.com
"The Room" was actually written by speaker and author Joshua Harris and is in his book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." He says it was something that he put on paper as the result of a dream he had while in Puerto Rico for the 1995 Billy Graham Crusade and published in his magazine the same year.
Interestingly, Brian Moore was also real. He did attend the high school described in the eRumor and lost his life as the result of a traffic accident shortly after having presented "The Room" for the meeting of Christian athletes. His friends and family believed that he had written it and the story about Brian was passed along to others sincerely. Joshua Harris told TruthOrFiction.com that he appreciates people getting the facts straight about the origins of "The Room," but is more concerned that people hear the message of the story than knowing who actually wrote it.
Life is changed, † not taken away.
To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
Page updated 10-27-09
Designed, Created, and Maintained by:
Mom ~ November 27, 1999
©Marilyn Jeffries, Reflection of the Echo 1974-2009
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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Directory updated 10-27-09
What Children Learn
The Other Side
The Face Of Christ
God and the Spider
Beholding Beyond Words
We the People
In God We Trust Personal Tributes
Beyond Is God
Lifting & Leaning
When I Think Of Love
This Room (Johnna)
The Road Not Taken
Jerry's Significant #7
What Children Learn
POW & MIA
Bill Of * No* Rights
The Troop Tree
The Freedom Truck
The One Dollar Bill
Land Of The Free
Thank you, Veterans!
Visitor From The Past
God and the Spider
In God We Trust
Close Your Eyes
Only A Dream?
In The End
Sweet Hour of Prayer
4th of July 1 - 2
Christmas-1 - 2 - 3 - 4
Fathers Day 1 - 2
In the End, by Steven Manchester (Chapel)
God and the Spider, by Mark Phillips (Chapel)
The Journey, by Tom Krause (Inspiration)
Who Are You?, by Terri McPherson (Inspiration)
Beholding Beyond Words, by Jerry Calo (Military)
The Other Side, by Dianna Doles Petry (Inspiration)
Face Of Christ, by Joe Castillo
Spirit Calling, by Jonathon Bowser
On Eagle's Wings, by Gail Gastfield
Shadow Rapids, by Jonathon Bowser
Phantom of the Falls, by Jonathon Bowser
Mystic Passage, by Jonathon Bowser
Try to be UGLY
God Laughs Too
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