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Everyman's Shame - A Story (Part 2)

The sin that shame thrives on is in the past, so no one can see it.
But people can see the effect shame has on us.

This is part 2 of a story. See part 1 here

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In silence, he heard footsteps approaching,
so he straightened, and stood. It would
not do to let them see he had a burden.

He knew the burden was invisible to all but himself,
but he was afraid they would see his stoop.

So he steadied himself with a tree, and looked up
to see who approached.

“Ahoy, Everyman!” his friend called out.

“Hello” Everyman replied, nearly losing his balance but catching himself.

“What is wrong, my friend? You look pale and a
bit unsteady. You’re not falling sick I hope?”

“Pale? No, I’m not pale,” Everyman continued with a brief
hint of panic in his voice. “I must have just stood up too fast.”

“Very well,” said his friend (whose name was Faithful),
but his eyebrows were laced with concern.

“Now what is this new construction?” Faithful asked as
he moved toward the open mouth of the cavern.

“Please, no!” cried out Everman. “I will explain it…later. But
now I must…go to my evening prayers.”

With these words, he sent his friend away.

His heart felt as though it were filled with rocks. He ached to tell
someone of his shame, but feared their response.

Each day he told himself that he was
strong enough, that this time would be the last.

And each day he failed and had
to tell himself the same thing over again.

Something had to change.

What was it?

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