A man walks into a bar with an arrow sticking out of his chest.
He walks up to the astonished barman and asks for a beer.
The barman stares in disbelief at the arrow poking out through an old check shirt encrusted with dried blood.
He asks: “What the hell happened to you?!”
The man, rolling his eyes, says ” What does it look like? I was shot in the chest with an arrow!”
“Does it hurt?”, says the barman, staring at the arrow while pouring the beer.
“What do you think?”
“Why don’t you go to hospital and have it taken out and get yourself patched up?”
“No! I’m not letting any doctor take this arrow out! That the job of the evil S.O.B who shot me. He’s the only one who can take the arrow and the pain away!”
“That’s stupid!”, says the barman, “You should have someone remove that arrow and patch you up. I’ll phone a paramedic, you could be free of that problem in half an hour”.
“No! You don’t get it! Only the man who shot me can make this right, I’m waiting for him to come to me on bended knee and apologise for what he’s done, he can take out the arrow and then we’re done. He did the damage, he can make it better”
The barman studies the arrow noticing how old and tattered it looks, some of the feathers are missing, the wood is stained and splintered. He also notices that the mans shirt is old, ragged and dirty.
“When did you get shot?”
“20 years ago! … one of the worst days of my life!”
“What!!! You’ve been walking around with an arrow in your chest for 20 years! Are you nuts!”
Indignant the man says: “No, I’m in pain, can’t you respect my suffering?”
“Yeah, but 20 years!”, pointing at the arrow, “Doesn’t that cause you problems?”
“You bet. It hurts like hell, I have to avoid revolving doors, and can’t do press-ups, it’s a real nuisance”
“And you’re waiting for this guy to come and take the arrow out?”
“Isn’t that unlikely, I mean he did shoot you in the first place. Why would he want to help you?”
“He should do it! It’s only right that he should make amends for what he did”
“Do you know where is he?”
“Yeah. In the cemetery. He’s been dead for seven years”
“What! How can he take the arrow out if he’s dead? You need to get someone else to take out the arrow”
“No way, that’s his job! I’d rather go to my grave suffering than let him get away with what he did by having someone else take this arrow!”
“You’re crazy! You’re holding onto this pain waiting for someone who will never come to make it all better”
“You don’t understand”, says the man finishing his beer, “Nobody ever does … “, putting down his empty glass he leaves the bar (being very careful of the swing doors).
That’s crazy isn’t it? Who would walk around with an arrow in their chest for 20 years.
On the other hand, how many of us have got old wounds and hurts that we have been carrying around for years waiting for the other person to fix? If each of those wounds had their own arrow most of us would look like pin cushions.
Isn’t it time to let some of those hurts go and apply a little forgiveness?