Forgive Me, Father

He woke in a cold sweat, disoriented and confused. Life on the road was like that. He collected his thoughts and remembered checking into the plush suite after the concert. The guilt was unbearable. It was time, once again, to seek out absolution. He took comfort in knowing his particular brand of gospel rock somehow reached the kids and drew them back to the true faith. It served as his repentance. Sometimes.

He pulled his "Jesus Saves" tee-shirt over his head, picked up his guitar case, containing extra strings, picks and custom-made Gibson of red lacquered wood, and went in search of the nearest church.

He slipped into the confessional. "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned."

He told his tale to the sympathetic and indistinct figure behind the grille. For a few minutes, the load was lightened but, by the time he reached the night air, it had returned. The kindly, concerned priest had followed him. "You need help, my son," he said, "more than I am able to give."

"But, you won't tell anyone," came the demand from the shadows. "You are bound to keep the secret?"

Saddened, the priest nodded.

"I wish I could believe you, Father," sighed the young man, "but I can never allow myself to take that risk. You do understand?" He twisted a guitar string around his strong, sensitive, musician's fingers.

Another night...another town...another luxurous hotel room. He woke in a cold sweat, the guilt heavier than ever. Picking up his guitar case, he went in search of absolution.

"Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned."

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