Saturday, September 30, 2006

THE ROOM

This is one of the greatest stories I have ever read.  I hope you enjoy it and that it blesses you.

 

  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 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. Hejust 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 so the
love of Jesus will touch their lives also. My "People I shared the gospel with"
file just got bigger, how about yours? 
    
   

Sunday, September 24, 2006

A TIME OF LEARNING

It's been almost two months since I have made an entry in my journal, I didn't realize that much time had passed.  It's not that I do not have things that I feel very strongly about, just a period of confusion and loneliness and lack of understanding.

Sometimes, it seems as though the road of life is so long and lonely.  One day you are going along and life is good then, everything is gone.  Someone once proposed the question, what would you do if one day, everything you had and everyone you loved was gone?  At that time, I couldn't even imagine it clearly enough to answer the question except to realize that it would be devastating to anyone.

That's what happened to me and it was incredible.  I remember the one thing that kept me going was that God was not gone, he was with me.  I remember praying on a daily basis for my needs and somehow, God amazingly met those needs.  He didn't do it by handing it to me on a silver platter.  He didn't bring someone to me that came to my rescue.  What God did was to tell me very clearly, " I am with you and I will supply all your needs".  It was a painstaking journey to get through the worst part.  You know, having food, running water, power, heat, transportation, a job, even a warm and safe place to live.  My two children and I struggled more than I can possibly put into words and in the beginning, it was all I could do to ask for the energy to keep going to another day.

That was six years ago.  The Lord has been good to me, given me what I need or what he knows I need.  I've gotten out of debt, have a good job, my house is safe and warm and I do not have to worry about having enough food or meeting the very simplest of needs.  The one thing that has not been restored to me is people in my life.  Seems that no matter what kind of effort I make, people just do not stay around.

I have no family, my friends went in the divorce and the ones I have made since then either die, live in this box or are miles and miles away.  I don't understand it but until I really made a valid effort to change things, I use to think it was my own fault.

I don't understand a lot of things.  I don't always understand what God tells me or don't hear it or something.  I don't understand why things happen the way they do or why some people seem to attract more sorrow than others.  I don't know how a person can try so hard and nothing seem to change.  What I do know, what I know without a doubt in my mind is that God is always with me.  I know that being in his word is the key to everything.  I know that he loves us so much that he sent his only son into this world to die for you and me.

I've been going to a church for nine months now and have yet to meet a soul.  I introduce myself to people and sit up front with complete strangers and have met the pastor and yet not one soul returns to talk to me or acknowledge me.  It's hurtful and it's a big reason why I have been so down.  It's like I've been forgotten and somehow became invisible to everyone, including God.

Today, I was reading my Bible study like I always do.  The point that was made is the evidence of the love of God for his children and how important it is to spread that love.  My focus got lost in a world of pain and memories for a while but I never let go of God's word and I never stopped believing he has the power to move mountains.

Do you ever feel like you have been forgotten by the world??  Like everything you touch and make an effort for just turns to junk or disappears?  Ever feel like you're so lonely you think you will stop breathing and can't take another minute of it?  Feel like you wish you were not the one who seems to attract so much pain and tragedy?

We are not alone, there are people all around us everywhere who suffer and feel like the world has forgotten them.  When you feel this way, be encouraged to share love with others.  Take a friend to lunch, open the door for someone, smile.  Each and every kindness that you show to another person counts.  Sometimes it can make the difference between life and death.  God's greatest gift to us is love and not everyone has it.

Not by might nor by power but by the spirit of the Lord.  That is where our strength comes from.  God bless, pray for one another and this world and have a blessed week.