Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Room

I can not take credit for writing this. I got this in an email and thought it was pretty good. Take a moment, read it and think it over.

It was written by a 17 year old student named Brian Moore.
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. This is an essay he wrote a few weeks earlier that his parents found after his death:

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 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
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 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.

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