A Story called The Room


17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for
a class. The subject was what Heaven was like. “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-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.

The Moores 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.”

Brian’s Essay: The Room…

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 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 “Girls 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 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

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 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

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.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”-Phil. 4:13
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

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God has radically changed my life, and I want to share the awesome things I am learning with you. I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life.


This post written by Cathy Deaton.

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About Cathy Deaton


My name is Cathy Deaton, Owner of Fan the Flame Ministries. God has radically changed my life, and He has shown me that I am to share the awesome things I am learning with the Millennial Generation (1981 – 1996), but I love connecting with Christians of all ages.  I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life. You truly can make a difference for God in an uncertain world.