"The Room" was 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.
This story has
been all over the Internet giving credit to Brian Moore,
as the author. Brian Moore was
real and did attend the high school described in the
commonly told story, and did lose 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.
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
As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my
attention was one that read "Girls I have
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. 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: 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
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.