On the way home, Elias wandered into the church. He hadn’t really meant to go there, but that’s where his feet took him. He sat down at the back and waited for Father Haskins to emerge from wherever it was that he spent his time during the day when nobody was around. Elias realized then that he hadn’t even seen the man’s face before and only knew the priest’s name because he’d heard someone else say it once. Then he heard the creak of old wood.
“Speak you sins, my son.”
“I…took the easy road,” Elias admitted, “even though I knew it was wrong. They offered me a way out, and a bonus, to give up when I was so close to the truth. And I took it.”
The elderly priest was quiet for a time.
“There are few men in this world who would see the sin in such an act. Who is harmed? Who has sustained damages? No one, or so we often allow ourselves to believe. To take the easy road when it is offered, why this is not a sin at all, so we say. Merely a way to make everyone’s life easier. What made you bring this sin to me, my son?”
“Because I wanted to know the truth and I wanted everyone else to know it, as well,” Elias said.
“There is only one truth, but many lies. Can you discern which is which?”
Elias sighed. “I don’t know, Father, I really don’t. Is it possible for my sins to be forgiven while the truth remains hidden?”
“The deception will hang above your head for the rest of your life,” Father Haskins said. “Can you face God knowing this?”
“Thank you, Father,” Elias said, standing up.
“Go with God, my son.”