The File Room

 

 

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                                          The File Room

Monday, 11 Feb, 2002, just after three in the afternoon.  I was
sitting in the bedroom, and as I started talking to the LORD about
still being out of work, (the last job offer not having yet panned
out,) I heard my modem "kick in", in the living room.  At the very
moment I started to pray, the first sound a modem makes when it is
dialing was clearly audible..  Apparently I had left the email program
on, and it was automatically dialing into my ISP to check my email.
Amazingly, this email popped up.

With nothing "else" to do, and having been blessed by it I am
forwarding it to others.  : Jerry Golden sent this to Harrietta
Turner, who forwarded it to me.  - Paul


                                         The File Room
 
This isn't your typical email. It's pretty powerful.  The story behind
the story "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.


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 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, couldn't
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."




If you feel the same way forward it to as many people as you can so
the love of Jesus will touch their lives also. My "People I shared the
gospel with" file just got bigger, how about yours?



 Post script by Paul: I don't believe that we get "extra credit" from
God. I forwarded the email as I found it.  Each time I have turned
back to Jesus, no matter how great my sin, He has been faithful to
take me back. 

God always answers prayers the way He knows we need them answered.
Right this moment, I still do not have a job, but right about now, I
do not care.     Jesus is LORD.   - Paul

 

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