BE CAREFUL WHO YOU’RE AIMING AT
I read a story of something that happened to a seminary student, and even though it never happened to me I believe it could have taken place. I read that a young student named Arlene attended a seminary class given by a teacher who was known for his elaborate object lessons. On this particular day, when she entered the room she saw a large target on the wall, and on a nearby table were many darts.
The professor told the students to take a piece of paper and draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry, and he would allow them to throw darts at the person’s picture to get the anger out of their system. One of Arlene’s friends drew a picture of a girl who had stolen her boyfriend. Another friend drew a picture of his mean older brother. Arlene drew a picture of a former friend who had betrayed her, putting a great deal of detail into her drawing, even drawing pimples on the face. Arlene was pleased with the overall effect she had achieved.
The class lined up and began throwing darts. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that they went through their picture, through the target, and into the wall. Arlene was eager to get her turn. The former friend had gone behind her back and revealed secrets they had shared, which brought her a lot of embarrassment and shame. But just as she was ready to take her turn, the professor ended the object lesson because class time had run out. Arlene was so disappointed and walked back to her desk with disgust because she didn’t have a chance to throw any darts at her target.
Then, before dismissing the class, the professor removed the target from the wall. To everyone’s surprise and disbelief, underneath the target was a picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face, and His eyes were pierced. As they all sat there dumbfounded, the professor quietly picked up his Bible and began to read these words: “In as much as you have done this to the least of these my brethren, you have done it to Me.”1 Needless to say, no further comments were necessary. Tears filled eyes of the students as they began to leave the classroom while looking back at the scarred and tattered face of Christ.
You may have never thrown real darts at a picture of someone you despise because of what they said or did to you. But the Bible says that our words are like poison darts,2 and they can injure and even be fatal to those we throw them at. So just like what happened to Arlene, each time you are tempted to throw such darts, instead of seeing the face of your former friend or enemy, see the face of Christ who died for their sins too. – Dr. Robert R Seyda
1 Matthew 25:40
2 Psalm 64:3