Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Card File

Subject: Heaven
Heaven Written by a 17 Year Old Boy. This is excellent and really gets you
thinking about what will happen in Heaven.

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 thing Brian ever wrote.

Brian's parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it
while cleaning out the teenager's locker at Teays Valley High School in
Pickaway County.

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. 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 Moore's 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."

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

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, 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