Book Review

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Hinds' Feet on High Places
"The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me walk upon mine high places." (Habakkuk 3:19, Psalm 18:33, II Samuel 22:34). "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (II Timothy 1:7).
Hinds' Feet on High Places is one of Hannah Hurnard's best known and best loved books: a beautiful allegory dramatizing the yearning of God's children to be led to new heights of love, joy, and victory. This allegory depicts the life of an orphan named Much-Afraid, how she escapes from her Fearing relatives in the Valley of Humiliation, and how she soon finds solace with the Chief Shepherd in the High Places where "perfect love casteth out all fear."

Throughout this spectacular story, one finds that Much Afraid has three problems which hinder her work and cause her much secret distress as well as shame on her spiritual journey:

  • She has crooked feet.
  • She has a crooked mouth.
  • She is a member of the Fearings.
Fortunately, Much-Afraid is not alone on her journey; she is joined by two companions - Sorrow and Suffering. On her secret journey, Much-Afraid must overcome her tormenting fears as she passes through many dangers. However, unlike the Fearings, Much-Afraid loves the Chief Shepherd so much that she is willing to serve Him at all costs.
"Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14).
The desire of Much-Afraid's heart is to live in the High Places away from her Fearing relatives where she would receive hinds' feet to climb the mountains. Hinds' feet were required for this amazing mountain trek, for no deer blemished or in any way imperfect could make this dangerous ascent without the proper equipment. Much-Afraid was determined to reach the High Places not to just receive hinds' feet but a new name as well!
"Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine." (Isaiah 43:1) "And thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name." (Isaiah 6:2).
Unfortunately, Much-Afraid could not enter the Kingdom of Love as a member of the Fearing family, for in the Kingdom of Love, a flower of love must bloom in one's heart. As time passes, Much-Afraid receives the seed of love; but it causes a piercing pain, but only for an instant, for it slips in quickly. Suddenly a sweetness she has never felt tingles all through her.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us" (I John 4:18-19).
One morning, while eagerly waiting in secret, Much-Afraid delightfully hears the Chief Shepherd's call to the High Places. The Chief Shepherd takes Much-Afraid to the foot of the mountains, while her special companions - Sorrow and Suffering - help her in difficult places while she still has her lame feet. Much-Afraid climbs and finally reaches the High Places where she loses her humiliating disfigurement and is made beautiful and receives the seed of love and a new name. Much-Afraid then returns to her valley of service upon being transformed by her union with the loving Shepherd.

-- Written by David H. Boshart, Jr.

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