CHAPTER 5 SHAME
THE DECEITFULNESS OF SIN
Copyright (C) 2003/2007
All rights Reserved
CHAPTER 5 SHAME
He replaced the phone on its cradle and sat down to wait. It was
the middle of the day and he had called in sick. "Why not," he
reasoned, "it was going to be his last." He glanced at his watch and
wondered just how long it would take for them to arrive. "Little
difference it would make," he shrugged.
He lifted the gun laying in his lap. He never really liked guns
but it was his job to carry one. He'd never even killed anybody in
his 25 years of service as a police officer. He had killed in
Vietnam, however, but he forced those thoughts away.
He glanced at his watch again and knew it wouldn't be long before
they arrived. He'd called in a domestic violence and reported a
weapon involved. That would get their guns out with that type of a
call. He didn't think the gun shots would hurt all that much but
after all, it was an easy way to die. He'd done his duty. He'd
served in Vietnam for 2 years. His bravery had netted him several
metals. Now he was a cop. Yet the memories haunted him all his
adult life. After all, he had just been a kid during the war.
"That's probably why they used kids," he mused, "so they wouldn't be
afraid to obey orders."
His pain went back even further than the war, he knew, but he
didn't like going back to his childhood. He'd hated what his parents
had done to him. Worse than that, he couldn't understand why they had
done it. He shuttered at the memories. The ugly pictures and images
splashed across his thought and this time he didn't fight back but let
them come. He had been raped and sexually abused so many times during
his youth by other men and women, he'd had a chronically sick stomach
all his life. Then he realized why he had killed in Vietnam; he had
wanted to. That's why he was so good at it, too. He recalled now
that he always pictured in his mind, just before squeezing off a
round, those who sexually brutalized him as a five year old boy. He
knew now, if his father and mother were still alive, he'd kill them
now, too, in the same way he killed in Vietnam. He felt no remorse at
this thought. He felt as if he never had a mother or father and now
it didn't matter. He was a broken man and one that no body could
fix. He'd put on his happy face at church as he greeted each person
coming through the doors. He never missed a single service either.
He and the pastor were pals but somehow he always felt it was due to
his badge. He'd helped the pastor, and his wife for that matter, get
out of two tickets so what did that tell you. Well, what he was about
to do today most certainly would be the talk of the church this coming
Sunday. Too bad he wouldn't be there to hear it. He thought about
the will he had written in his dresser drawer. He wasn't going to let
his church, or pastor, conduct his funeral; that's for sure. He had
requested to be cremated, along with all his metals from both the war
and from the department, and scattered on the ocean. Feeding the
sharks was better than living anyway.
He could hear the sound of the sirens as they approached. They
were far away, so he had some time. He doubted the dispatcher had
recognized his voice but she couldn't have missed his name and
addressed that had flashed on her screen. He wasn't going to fire on
his fellow officers, of course, but he'd make them think he was. Most
of the ones on their way would know him anyway, and those who didn't
would recognize him on sight. He stroked the weapon in his lap. He
wasn't as good with a pistol as with a rifle but it made little
difference; he wasn't going to fire a shot. Well, he might, but
certainly not at any of the officers.
They were getting closer, he noticed, and soon he would hear them
pulling up outside.
When he heard a couple of units skid to a stop and car doors
slam, he arose and approached the front door.
"Hank," an amplified voice boomed out, "come on out. No body is
going to hurt you." It was the voice of Jim Carlson. He was the only
guy who ever showed any interest in him outside of his department
Swinging the front door wide, he stood deliberately, framed in
the door way so they would have a clear shot at him. He kept his
weapon at his side; non-threateningly. "My wife is already dead; I
killed her. You are going to have to kill me, too, Jim," he yelled
"I know better than that, Hank, his friend replied. Your wife is
at work. I already called to check. Put down the gun and walk out.
You know I'll do everything I can to help you. Besides, we're
"It's way beyond that now, Jim," he called back. Raising his
weapon, he shot one of the swirling lights on top of the nearest cop
"Don't even think about it," Jim yelled to his men. "I want
every weapon holstered." No return shots were fired and silence
settled across the neighborhood. "You ain't going to shoot anybody,
Hank. You know it and I know it."
He shot out another whirling light in response.
"Dad gum it, Hank," came the response. "They are going to make
you pay for those things so put down the gun."
A headlight exploded in response.
"That did it! I am unarmed, Hank," came the electronic amplified
voice, "and I am walking right up to your front door, Hank. Go ahead
and shoot me; I'll go straight to Heaven anyhow. I'll make it easy
for you, Hank, because I'm not even wearing a flak jacket."
"Don't come, Jim," he hollered back; tears creeping into the
corners of his eyes.
"Here I come, Hank, ready or not." A big black man walked slowly
out from behind one of the squad cars and walked straight toward him.
He never even slowed once. Hank put a round into the dirt not five
feet in front of his Friend.
"You can sure do better than that, Hank," he chided.
Hank shot his friend's hat off.
"You want me to put an apple in my mouth, too," he laughed but he
Hank dropped his gun just as his friend reached him and collapsed
into his friends arms; sobbing uncontrollably.
"Hank," he heard his friend saying softly, "I love you and so
does the Lord. You know this. I have a good friend who can get to
the root of this. Things will work out and you aren't crazy. But you
owe me for a new hat. Somehow, they both cried and laughed together
as they held each other tightly.
COMMENTS ON SHAME
A painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt,
embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace.
I would say that definition covers it all. The police officer in
the story was just such a man. He tried being a good soldier and
later an even better cop. Why? As the story suggests, something
happened to him as a child which directed the entire rest of his life.
He had done everything well. He had served the Lord, his church, his
country and his community, and done the best he could do. He was
brave, courageous, and by all outward appearances, was a man envied by
others. Yet, he was torn apart inside and hated himself because he
In some respects, shame is a wall we put up to protect ourselves
and yet it makes us miserable. I have also learned it can be a tough
shield to break in the lives of those incased in their shame. It can
be shame from a childhood experience. It can be shame from not being
good enough or at the least, not quite as good as the rest. It can be
guilt left over from confessed sin. It can be disappointment in one's
self for being so stupid and not know better. Worse, we knew better
and did it any way. Fortunately, shame is the indication of lie based
thinking. This means God can help us by exposing the lie, speaking
His truth, and setting us free. We, on the other hand, would rather
try and take things into our own hands because we don't want anyone to
know what we know about ourselves. So we hide it. Eventually, as in
my dramatized story, it comes out but it can come out in less dramatic
ways as well. Things such as sickness, disease, illness, depression,
chronic pain, and physical symptoms so numerous, it would be
impossible to try and list them all. It is far better to allow the
Lord to expose it for what it is and deal with it through experiential
End Of Chapter 5
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