The Archer and the Arrow

The archer took an arrow and drew it on his bow.
He shot it through the bulls-eye, not high, nor wide, nor low.
A hundred other arrows he drew and aimed and shot.
And while most arrows made their mark, alas, a few did not.
      God greets error with compassion and loving forgiveness.
      God loves us in our failure, not just in our success.

For sin is like an arrow that does not know its way.
I make two hundred efforts as I go through the day,
and, though some of my actions work out just as I aim,
the few of them with imperfections tempt me to feel shame.
      For Satan knows our weakness and takes delight in our cries;
      he wants us to despise ourselves, despair, and heed his lies.

But Jesus loves His creatures, whom He will not forsake.
Two thousand years ago, He knew every mistake
that I have made in my life, my errors great and small.
He knew me, and He loved me, and He forgave them all!
      Christ bids us seek completeness, with all heart, strength, and soul,
      but God forgives our imperfections, so we are made whole.


I wrote this in 1994 as a reminder of a lesson that I learned about my perfectionism in particular, but I have found it to be a strong counter-narrative to depression in general.