Shame: A Burden We Were Never Intended to Carry

I attended a wedding a little while ago and had an unexpected interaction with another guest. Moments before the bride walked down the aisle, there was a man seemingly trying to make eye contact with me. I didn’t recognize him, so I assumed he was looking at a clock or a bird or someone behind me. I just looked away. But, he continued and actually escalated his attempt at communication with a casual wave. Nonplussed, I waved back, hoping he would realize that we didn’t know each other. The whole exchange felt really awkward. And…yes, I’m single and I know what all of you are thinking. No. Anyway, after the ceremony, he hesitatingly approached me. He said, “You don’t remember me, do you?” I absolutely hate this question because I often forget meeting people. I answered as politely as I could that I didn’t remember him. He gave me his name, which helped slightly, then he reminded me that we worked within the same organization over a decade ago. You have to understand, I was vaguely beginning to put some memories in order. He then proceeded to tell me that since we worked together, he had become a Christian. He shared his story, in brief, and began to unpack the way he used to live before he came to faith in Christ. He continued and said that he believed that if he was ever afforded the opportunity to ask me to forgive him, he would. Forgive him? Forgive him for what? I didn’t even remember him.