“The Room,” the Touching Story Written By a 17-year-old Boy Just Before His Death-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
This long email is in two parts. The first part describes 17-year-old-Brian Moore, a student who was a part of a group of Christian athletes. In preparation for leading a discussion at one of the meetings, he wrote an essay that he titled “The Room.” Two months later, Brian was dead. He had a traffic accident, which he survived, but was electrocuted when he stepped on some downed power lines. The remainder of the first part of the email talks about what a quality guy Brian was and how much it meant to have “The Room” as a part of his legacy. The second part of the email is the essay itself, a very moving description of a dream in which he experiences a sobering review of his life and a powerful encounter with Jesus Christ.
“The Room” was actually written by speaker and author Joshua Harris and is in his book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.” He says it was something that he put on paper as the result of a dream he had while in Puerto Rico for the 1995 Billy Graham Crusade and published in his magazine the same year. Interestingly, Brian Moore was also real. He did attend the high school described in the eRumor and lost his life as the result of a traffic accident shortly after having presented “The Room” for the meeting of Christian athletes. His friends and family believed that he had written it and the story about Brian was passed along to others sincerely. Joshua Harris told TruthOrFiction.com that he appreciates people getting the facts straight about the origins of “The Room” but is more concerned that people hear the message of the story than knowing who actually wrote it.
About The Author
Procrastinating as usual, 17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to
write something for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting. It was his
turn to lead the discussion. So he sat down and wrote.
He showed the essay titled “The Room” to his mother, Beth, before he headed
out the door. “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 was also the last.
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.
Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every
piece of his life near them-the crepe paper that had adorned his locker
during his senior football season, note from classmates and teachers, his
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’
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. Brian
seemed to excel at everything he did. He was an honor student. He told his
parents he loved them “a hundred times a day”, Mrs. Moore said. He was a
star wide receiver for the Teays Valley football team and had earned a
four-year scholarship to Capital University in Columbus because of his
athletic and academic abilities. He took it upon himself to learn how
to help a fellow student who used a wheelchair at school. During one
homecoming ceremony, Brian walked on his tiptoes so the girl he was
escorting wouldn’t be embarrassed about being taller than he was. He adored
his kid brother, Bruce, now 14. He often escorted his grandmother Evelyn
Moore, who lives in Columbus to church. “I always called him the deep
thinker,” Evelyn Moore said of her eldest grandson.
Two years after his death, his family still struggles to understand why
Brian was taken from them. They find comfort at the cemetery where Brian is
buried, just a few blocks from their home. They visit daily. A candle and
dozens of silk and real flowers keep vigil over the graveside. 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 again someday,”
Mrs.Moore said. “I just hurt so bad now.”
By Brian Keith Moore
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room.
There were no distinguishing features save 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 right to left as far as the eye could
see, had very different headings.
As I walked up to the wall of files,the first to catch my attention was one
that read, “People 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
This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my
entire life. The actions of my every moment, big and small, were written in
a detail my memory couldn’t match. A sense of wonder and curiosity, mixed
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 common, everyday things to the not-so-common-“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 Have
Yelled At My Brothers and Sisters.” Others I couldn’t laugh at: “Things I
Have Done in 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 less than I had hoped.
The sheer volume of the life I had lived overwhelmed me. Could it be
possible that I had time in my 17 years to write each of these thousands or
millions of cards? But each card confirmed the truth. Each card was written
in my own handwriting. Each card was signed with my signature. When I pulled
out the file marked “Songs I Have Listened To”, 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 music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew
that file represented. When I came to the 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 such a moment had been recorded.
A feeling of humiliation and anger ran through my body. 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 an 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 the file 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.
That was when I saw it. The file 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 3 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 the hurt 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.
Then as I looked up through my tears, I saw Him enter the room. No, please
not Him. Not here. 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.
The few times I looked at His face I saw such sadness that it tore at my
heart. 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 in 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 the door. There were
still cards to be written.