There was a moment after I found my buck this fall when I looked down, felt the warm blood on my hands from the fresh kill, and realized the significance and symbolism all wrapped up in 'having blood on your hands.' I was responsible for this animal's death. A death that would give life. A life was taken so that another could be sustained. In the quietness of the night, I knelt next to my deer, felt the warmth of the body and my now blood soaked knee that was plugging an exit wound made moments ago by a broadhead on the tip of my arrow. After I picked up my bloody arrow and helped drag my buck up out of a ditch, I glanced down and noticed my blood soaked hands. It was a moment in time that struck in my heart, the reality of how messy it all is.
As humans we often make a mess of life so to speak. The murk and mire of life tends to muddy everything up. We are far from perfect and all have stains. The cloak of life we don day after day, has figuratively been stained by our imperfections ..."all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Quite simply - we have missed the mark. The arrow released from our bow is dripping with sin and will never reach the intended target. But praise God, that is not the end of the story. There was a Saviour born unto us who has the power to hit the target. The God of creation stepped down into the confinement of time, picked up our arrow, and with one quick release hit the bulls eye, swiftly nailing our sin to a cross and paying the price that we never could.
"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see -- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord."
At this time of year, we like to package up the Christmas story and present it in a way that glitters and shines. Yes, it is a beautiful message and my prayer is that all my friends and family would understand, know how much God loves them, and accept this ultimate gift... the gift that God loves them enough to get blood on his hands and pay the price for our sins, so that we can someday stand before God with a clean cloak.
"But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole
and by his bruises we are healed."
Beloved reader, may you take a moment this Christmas season to reflect on the mystery of it all. Ponder the purpose of a Christ child born to die. I am brought back to a moment in time where I am kneeling next to an arrow pierced deer in the woods and am struck with how the blood on my hands now reminds me of a different blood. A messy, bloody death that also gave life, but not just sustaining life. No, it is life abundantly. A life was given so that another could live. A Saviour died and conquered death itself.
And the angels proclaim... "Glory to God in the highest!"
From the Draw
A website devoted to sharing bowhunting stories. From the draw in the mountains to the draw on paper, the moments live on.