My older sister goes to church to feel good about herself.

I go to acknowledge that I’m the scum of the earth.

The words she hears make her shout amen.

They make me mumble confessions under my breath.

The church service is over now, and all the kids are out front, playing tag.

I’m hiding behind the church. I’ve been here for ten minutes, repeating the same words over and over again.

“Jesus please forgive me for my unclean thoughts. Please forgive me for being jealous of Tim’s new bike. Please forgive me for not forgiving other people right away when I should. Please forgive me for all this in Jesus name, Amen.”

I had prayed this prayer during the service a dozen times in my head, but then the preacher reminded the congregation that we must confess our sins. I’m pretty sure confess means out loud.

I tried to mumble my repentance under my breath before the sermon ended, but my sister looked at me weird. So, I stopped.

That’s why I’m behind the church right now.

I don’t know how many times I should repeat this prayer.

I don’t know how I’ll ever be right with God.

I wish I could play tag.