Hind’s Feet in High Places

I thought I would share some things from this book that really stuck out to me. I was rereading it for probably the fourth time last night and I found some really good truths. But first let me give you an over view of the book:

It is an allegory, skillfully worked into a wonderful plot. The main character is Much-Afraid, a lame young women who lives in a village. She works as a shepherdess for the Shepherd and lives in the village near the fields. Her relatives, the Fearings are trying to force her to marry her cousin Craven-Fear, a cruel bully. On night, when with the shepherd her fearful heart makes known her deepest wish, and also the one that seems the most impossible. She tells the Shepherd that she wishes she could go up with him to the High places, on top of the mountains, where his kingdom is. He tells her he will take her and she starts on her journey soon after.

At one point of the journey, when she is fearfully questioning His judgment in the path she should take to the High places because of her lame foot he tells her this:

“I love doing preposterous things! Why, I don’t know anything more exhilarating and delightful than turning weakness into strength and fear into faith, and that which has been marred into perfection. If there is one thing more than another which I should enjoy doing at this moment it is turning a jelly fish into a mountain goat {speaking of Much-Afraid here}. That is my special work, transforming things.”

Later on when he tells her of another of his plans she replies in this manner:

“Only have your will and your way in me Shepherd, nothing else matters.”  

Such a wonderful thing to believe!

When one of her relatives, Pride, tries to force her back to her old home he almost has her, until she finally calls for the Shepherd.

“She learned in this way the first important lesson on her journey upward, that if one stops to parley with pride and listens to his poisonous suggestions, and above all, if he is allowed to lay his grasp upon any part of one, Sorrow becomes unspeakably more unbearable afterwards, & anguish of heart has bitterness added to it.”

When it seems the Shepherd is leading her in the direct opposite direction from her destination he encourages her with these wonderfully spoken words:

” No, it is not a contradiction, only a postponement for the best to become possible.”

Another time on her path, when she is confronted by her ever-evil relatives they almost win and she asks the Shepherd why. He gently tells her this.

“When you wear the weed of impatience in your heart instead of the flower Acceptance-of-joy, you will always find your enemies get an advantage over you.” 

As she journeys he also tells her this comforting truth

“Nothing can do you any real harm while you are following the path of my will.”

She once again finds that, after ascending a long time into the mountains, she must go down into a valley again and wonders if the Shepherd is really deceiving her. He tests her and asks her if he could deceive her. She tells him this.

“My Lord, if you can deceive me you may. It can make no difference. I must love you as long as I continue to exist. I cannot live without loving you.”

As the Shepherd tries to teach little Much-Afraid about love he tells her

“Love is beautiful, but it is also terrible- terrible in it’s determination to allow nothing blemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved.”

At one point when they come to a waterfall Much-Afraid finds the truth

“The water finds no terror in it {the leap}… self-giving is its life.”

Eventually she comes to the High-places where her blemishes are washed away and she is given hind’s feet and lives in his presence, receiving the name Grace and Glory. The Shepherd continues to teach her wonderful truths, just like he teaches us every day.


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