The room

Written by THEUNIS, JOHANNES CLOETE  [email protected]

The Room

  I can only imagine…  “THE ROOM” as written by a 17 Year Old Boy.

  17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class. The  

  subject was What Heaven Was Like.

  Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every piece of

  his life near them, notes from classmates and teachers, and 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.

  Here is Brian’s essay entitled: “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 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



  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



  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



  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, and 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 only Son, that whoever believes in 

    Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

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