How do you escape their arrows of words? Where can you hide from the fiery darts launched specifically at you? Those arrows whose flight mission is ordered by everything else but love. Arrows whose flight pattern is aimed for the heart and rarely miss. How do you escape?
You never think it will happen to you. Growing up sheltered among the love of five other siblings, you can’t imagine a world any different; that is, until the class bell rings for school.
Cruelty is packed in many lunch boxes where everything is fair game. My long red hair didn’t fit in with the blond haired girls. Seat kicking and hair pulling was common. Jokes about my overbite and non-fashionista clothes didn’t relent. Freckles never came in style. I couldn’t escape humiliation of “wolves singing” during attendance when my last name was frequently mispronounced as “Howl”. Walking the halls incited others to grab my books and litter the floors. Although with nobody to share lunch there was one hour of escape to the library; my sanctuary of friends among the isle of books, with hitchhikers allowed to come for the ride of reading.
You never think it will happen to you but it did. Their arrows of words targeted me for years. I was able to fight back and knock them down with my grades, yet their fiery darts left an indelible sting in my confidence and self-worth for years.
Being alone in school didn’t keep me from having a true friend though; an author of one of those books in my secret place at lunch; one whose love for me is in the details of its pages:
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways…
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because
I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
17 How precious to me are your thoughts!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.
When I began to understand and receive the love of my Creator, I soon felt sorry for the archers of the arrows when I realized hurting people hurt people. Matthew 12:34 NKJV says it best, …for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Compassion for those launching their arrows grieved me as I imagined the missions of arrows that still may be painfully lodged in them.
In this lonely world we live in, hug your kids tighter today. Then hug them again. Give somebody else’s kid a hug. Give yourself a hug.
Tell them that Jesus DIED that they might LIVE.
Don’t let an opportunity pass you by because you never know who might be dying a slow death from the arrows of words.
By Great Aunt Lori Alicea
I wish I could have seen your eyes,
The emptiness display.
I wish I could have heard that cry,
For help to come your way.
I wish I could have touched your heart,
Remove the arrows there.
Remind you that you weren’t alone,
Your Father God did care.
I grieve the clock I can’t turn back,
The past I can’t undo.
In honor I keep vigil watch,
For Ashleigh’s just like you.