In which there is the parable of the girl and the arrows (part two)

by Craig on May 17, 2011

…She stayed at the party a bit longer this time and didn’t mind the absence of the sun so much. Eventually she went back to the range. But with the target re situated there were more and more excuses for her to venture where she shouldn’t…

This is part two of the parable – part one is a quick read – and kind of necessary – it’s here.

Soon she was spending as much time in the forest as she was shooting at the target.

Once, as she was returning to the target that she had left vacant far too long, she heard the voice of the range owner.

She had barely enough time to put the target back where it belonged and begin shooting arrows.



The owner came,
hands behind his back,
nodded, smiled,
and things seemed all right.

But there was something in his eyes.

He didn’t know did he?

He couldn’t?

But he tilted his head
and blinked,
and looked at her in the strangest way.

He did know!

Getting caught is never fun.

“I’m sorry,” she sobbed, “but I had to get the arrows. Right?”

A knowing glance pierced the lie…

and then…


Walking towards her he commented, “I thought you were a better shot than that.” He took the remaining arrows out of her quiver and inspected each one. “No.” he said in a contemplative voice, sounding surprised, even though he wasn’t, “The arrows all seem straight, the feathers are fine. Is it the bow maybe?”

He seemed to know way more than he should have. By now she just wanted to run and hide. Was it guilt or conviction? Before she figured it out the owner handed the arrows back to her. “The target is over there. Go ahead.” His smile, at once both full of judgment and forgiveness, hinted that all was fine.

“But what about the penalty?” she asked, “I can’t afford the penalty.”

“It’s been taken care of.” he replied, “Just do your best. That wasn’t your best. Was it?”


Her words from a dropped head, almost too soft to hear.

“I can do better.”

It shouldn’t have been OK, but it was.

The woods, and the party, they weren’t so inviting anymore.

The range seemed strangely wider. More arrows hit the target. The owner smiled.


The only way to know what God wants is to know the target. We only know the target by knowing his Word. We only know the Word by reading the Word. Then, knowing where the target is, it’s our job to try to hit it consistently without fudging with the rules.

Missing is allowed. But intentionally moving the target is dangerous.

Moment by moment we make decisions.

The better we decide the closer to God we become.
The closer to God we become,
the less discipline is needed and received,
and the more blessings we have access to.

The more access we have to blessings,
the more apt we are to access mysteries of God.

It’s all about shooting at the target,

placed in the right spot,

from the center of the fairway,

and …

staying out of the woods

as much as possible.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin May 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

I so “heart” this parabale! I’m not sure why. . .maybe it’s beckoning me to look at my targets. . .you’ve got me pondering :)

I think you need to be writing a book, I would buy it!


Craig May 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Kristin, thank you so much. Those targets, we don’t even have to hit the bull’s-eye – he leaves room for our imperfections. And that big wide Lane to shoot in – Commandments on each side to guide us – but lots of freedom within. As James calls it, “the perfect law of freedom” I heart that. And I heart that you used heart as a verb. I heart heart as a verb!

And should that book ever be forthcoming I’ll make sure I take you up on the offer. :-) I have a plan. But I want our Lord’s will above my own – so we’ll see what he’s got planned – because I want that more.

So thank you for your kind words – I heart kind words. God bless you and yours.


Debra May 17, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Your poems… testimonies… parables….all are worthy of publication – more than some I’ve seen on bookstore shelves :( Count me in on the book signing :) I’ll be the first in line.


Craig May 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm

Debra, thank you. There was a time when I would say this in a vain way, a proud way – but believe me, it’s said now in humility. I can write, a little bit. Everybody has gifts – I heart words. Strangely, I think it goes back to the beginnings – and that five-year-old boy. Maybe I’ll write about that sometime. :-) Thank you for your kind words Debra, now I know if I publish a book sometime I will at least have more people at the book signing than I have fingers on my hands :-) God bless you.


A. May 17, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Craig, this is a very heartable parable! I am tucking it into that place where my vison for the day flows from. Yes, add me to your list of book buyers. Not since I read The Lost Princess by George MacDonald ( C. S. Lewis’ favorite Christian writer) has a parable or story touched me so much.


Craig May 17, 2011 at 8:03 pm

A. A new word! “Heartable” – funny :-) thank you A. I’ve never read that book. Right now all I have time for is to write and to read, and read, and read, blogs. I heart reading people in this community. So maybe later. Thank you as always – and God bless you.


Misty May 18, 2011 at 12:34 pm

craig, as a person who is most decidedly NOT into video games, i’ve recently succumbed to our household Wii, and i love the archery game. i’m surprisingly a pretty decent shot.
hmmmm, pride can be a funny thing, can’t it. so can the “little foxes.”
this was a pricking story to be sure, and one worthy of pondering yet. the grace of the fulfilled penalty–i can hardly wrap my brain around the wonderment. (and there is no need to click over to my space–i’ve not had words in a while as i wait for my last babe to make his way into the world!)


Craig May 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Misty, I’ve played that archery game. And as you put it, “wrapping my brain around the wonderment” – perfect – thank you. God bless you and all of yours Misty – and I hope you don’t mind that I just said a quick prayer for mom and baby. Lucky baby!!!


Lisa notes... May 18, 2011 at 1:00 pm

You drew me in, Craig, on part 1 and I had to come hear the ending at part 2.

“The only way to know what God wants is to know the target.”

“Missing is allowed. But intentionally moving the target is dangerous.”

These words and this story speak to me as a warning and a blessing. Thanks, brother.


Craig May 18, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Lisa, I can’t tell you how much I heart it when I see your face in my comment box. Always makes me smile. The words – the story – we are all that archer at one time or another aren’t we. The thing about moving the target? The thing about that is… Only those of us that have been Christians for a while to figure out how to be just that devious with sin. That’s kind of sad – sobering – also a warning. Thank you Lisa, thank you, and God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours!


Kati May 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Thank God for grace! And again. And again. And again!!


Craig May 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Amen Kati, Amen. The “penalty” accrued but just one – one sin – is more than any of us could pay. So amen, thank God for grace. And thank you Kati – and God bless and keep you!


pathoftreasure May 18, 2011 at 11:59 pm

I heart this parable! I was moving right along… wondering what would happen to the girl. I love your ending of the story, and also how you wrap it up in the end… with knowing the target, knowing the Word, reading the Word, and making those “moment by moment” decisions… to “having access to the mysteries of God” — that is something to aim for– to be that close to Him, to know those deep mysteries…So beautifully written! And so grateful that “we can miss” (but not move the target– and stay out of woods…) God bless you.


Craig May 19, 2011 at 11:53 am

thank you Anna. I found through experience that the less there is between me and our Lord the clearer I see him and the more mysteries I’m able to uncover– the more he shows me.and Amen – that big wide Lane we have to shoot the arrows – so much that we can do right – so much grace – God is nice – I heart God. Thank you so much, and God bless you and each and every one of yours.


Debbie May 19, 2011 at 1:37 am

I love this story so much! And the ending is beautiful. I like happy endings! He gives us that! God bless you and the words He keeps sending us through you!


Craig May 19, 2011 at 11:55 am

Debbie, thank you as always. I heart this parable too. God bless you and keep you Deb – and thank you. I heart having you read me.


Michelle May 19, 2011 at 3:25 am

“The only way to know what God wants is to know the target. We only know the target by knowing his Word. We only know the Word by reading the Word.”

I think I need this on my wall, my mirror, my fridge, the back of the toilet door…….


Craig May 19, 2011 at 11:58 am

we all need this on the back of our toilet doors Michelle – me most of all. The only way to know true right from true wrong is to know the source of right – and try is the world might it has never been able to cover up that source. Thank you Michelle God bless you this day.


Dawn May 19, 2011 at 6:26 am

Craig, this is a wonderful parable that makes the gospel fresh. I loved it. He indeed set us up for victory, then gave us victory at his own expense when we failed anyway. Oh, what manner of love.


Craig May 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm

thank you Dawn, I heart the way you put it “victory at his own expense” – that’s perfect – wish I had written it :-) God bless you and keep you – and thank you.


happygirl May 19, 2011 at 11:29 am

What a wonderful parable. Moving the target… This is my take and, I see, it is yours. We are always off target. Rarely do we hit the bullseye. The constant adjustment to the target is our goal. But, move the target? Now we don’t have a chance. The target is truth. Not “our truth,” but TRUTH. It cannot be moved. Thanks for writing and linking.


Craig May 19, 2011 at 12:04 pm

The target – oh the target – we can become pretty ingenious with our sin has Christians. Sometimes I think that’s why our Lord was so big on spirit of the law and not the letter of the law because we find our way around any letter – we learn that any “rule” has either exceptions or loopholes – we find them – use them – silly humans. Thank you for reading, and thank you for commenting, and God bless you and keep all of yours this day.


Joybird May 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

i like the pairing of judgement and forgiveness. There is no forgiveness if a wrong is denied. First the truth of the sin must be told for forgiveness to be received.


Joybird May 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

Oh and that both were given with a loving smile.


Craig May 21, 2011 at 7:08 am

I just finished writing this big long reply about your previous comment on part one – pointing you to part two – and now I come over and find that you’ve read part two – Gah!

by the way, I smiled as typed that :-)

and Amen – so true what you wrote, “no forgiveness ever wrong is denied”. Our Lord is God, full of mercy – but also full of justice – and he loves us, and wants us to choose correctly, and then there’s grace…

God bless you, and thank you again.


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