Sunday, February 9, 2020

Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard

The Lord God is my strength, and he has made my feet like hind’s feet, and makes me walk on my high places. ~ Habaukkuk 3:19

Hind’s Feet on High Places is the tale of Much-Afraid and her journey to the High Places. Much-Afraid is crippled, deformed, and unattractive; she lives in the Valley of Humiliation with similarly miserable relatives such as her aunt Dismal Foreboding, cousins Gloomy and Spiteful. Most of all, she is plagued by her cousin Craven-Fear who intends to make Much-Afraid his wife, even against her will.

But Much-Afraid senses that her life should be something more meaningful. She has one friend, the Good Shepherd, whom she meets daily at the trysting place. She speaks to him of her desire to leap on the mountain heights like the wild deer. The Shepherd promises to help her reach the High Places, and make her beautiful and whole, if she will but trust him. 

She is beset by fears and doubts, reluctant to set out on such a hazardous and impossible journey, but she does eventually trust the Shepherd and he plants the seed of love in her heart, an initially painful process, which immediately produces resolve and hope. 

The Good Shepherd provides companions for Much-Afraid – companions she is none too glad for – Suffering and Sorrow.

The journey is begun, but indeed not without suffering and sorrow. At each difficulty however, Much-Afraid learns to lean more completely upon the Good Shepherd and he brings victory and a new lesson.

Hind’s Feet is a Christian allegory, describing the journey from unbelief to childlike faith, to mature faith, to faith that serves others. 

The High Places, are not to be mistaken for Heaven, but rather the place of submission and obedience that produces peace and joy, and a servant’s heart. Much-Afraid is given a new name, Grace and Glory, and in her rapture, she thinks of her suffering relatives and countrymen in the Valley of Humiliation. She determines to return to the valley, along with her companions who have been transformed to Peace and Joy, in order to share the hope and good news of the Good Shepherd’s transforming love (the Christian’s Great Commission).

The title: Hind’s Feet on High Places is taken from Habakkuk, but many portions of the narrative are derived from The Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon), which is a tender and intimate love story, which in turn is a good description of Hind’s Feet on High Places.

I look forward to reading more of this tale, in the sequel: Mountains of Spices.


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