The Room by Joshua Harris/Brian Keith Moore

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 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 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 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 Brother.” 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 17 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 card signed with my own 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.

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. Rage and embarrassment broke within 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 a frenzy, I yanked the file out. Its size didn’t mattered now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it out 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 from the overwhelming shame. 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. After a long while I knew I must look at His face, and 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? Why ever 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, kneeled down, 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, and one by one, He began to sign His name over mine on each card. “No!”I shouted rushing to Him. All I could say was “No, no,” as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn’t be on these cards, this was my life, my sins…. 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.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

[Note: This is also something I read when I first became a christian and has stuck with me ever since…

Also I am unsure who the original author is… I’ve been told it’s by Joshua Harris and from his book “I kissed dating goodbye”.]

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13 Comments »

  1. Michael Said:

    I quite like this-bit lurid for my conservative tastes but makes the point very well…we must write, sing, wail, paint, prance, chant, point dance,shout and tell until it finally makes sense that we are forgiven….I think that is probably at the point of our deaths but hey never mind- because we really are forgiven!!

  2. wolfling Said:

    not wanting to be picky (feel free to not post this comment if you think it will detract from the story,) this isn’t actually by Moore. It’s from Joshua Harris in his book “I kissed dating goodbye”. Great book, and great poem.
    The reason I say this for truth, and the fact that putting Joshua Harris as one of the tags would probably be a good idea. Josh has already said publicly that he’s not fussed about who is credited as the author as the story’s more important, but I was searching for this on the net, and only found your site when “Joshua Harris” was removed from the search parameters.

    God Bless.

  3. Emeth Said:

    OK… I didn’t realise that… Thankyou… Will put both authors in the title and on the tags 🙂

  4. Anonymous Said:

    nd your site when “

  5. someone who knew brian moore Said:

    the truth is brian did not write the story, but because of his popularity and his kindness to everyone no matter who they were, he had many many friends. because of this, The Room found it’s way into thousands maybe millions of peoples churches and homes. without him i as well as the others would never of heard or felt the power of god so strongly as you do when hearing this story, if it wasnt for him. so yes his mother was wrong in saying he wrote it, but at times like those when your world has ended you grasp for anything.alot of the harsh comments from others over the years has been ridiculous. can all those people say they never copied anything for school, some project???? wake up people he never ment it to be his in the first place, but because of his death it was made public. he just so loved his life and anyone and everyone around him. he was truely one of the best with kindness for everyone. we need to thank him instead of criticizing him !!!!!!!!

  6. Dairien Said:

    This is a very touching story that my friend had made me read it and know I will make everone I know read this story. Even if it is very short it is still very good.

  7. Stephanie Said:

    http://www.snopes.com/glurge/room.asp

  8. Harriet Said:

    This poem is really impressive- It makes us all think about – how we are living- and has a message-
    We need more poems like this- who ever wrote it- GOD BLESS YOU.

  9. Brian Keith Moore my friend!!! Said:

    Brian Moore was such an amazing person….writing this touched and made all of our friends feel closer to God when we needed him….it comforted our souls when we felt so much loss. This poem, regardless who wrote it….it obviously meant something to Brian as well….an honors studen, homecoming attendant, popular….yet with God in his life. This should go to say – with the friends we had in school….the popularity…the good times…he really had it all – yet did not forget God and why he was turly here. I think alot of high school students are ashamed to let friends know that they are close to God…just for the embarassment, or scared they will get made fun of…..but b/c Brian was so outgoing and had such a huge following i feel that this really let alot of our friends feel that its okay to be with God!!! So thank you Brian and whomever truly wrote this….in our time of need this really really touched our lives. – and i agree Thank Him Not Critizise….:) God Bless

  10. Jojo Said:

    Everytime i read this i nearly cry

  11. lowtrades Said:

    Superb overcome! I would like to novice all at once just like you change your web site, precisely how might i register to get a website internet site? A accounts aided me a appropriate option. I have been previously somewhat knowledgeable of this the broadcast available brilliant see-through concept

  12. Anonymous Said:

    Thank your Lord there is a very powerful message in that poem and a lot revealed that really blessed me and revealed things to me god is great and I’m thank full for his shed blood that my sins could be forgiven and that when I was lost he still loved me the index cards in my life will be better and the ones I share the gosipal with will be massive


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