My friend and mentor, Moira, let me borrow the book Hinds’ Feet on High Places last year. “This book is going to make you trust Jesus more,” she said.
I was skeptical. I held her well-worn copy of the allegory in my hands, a watercolor illustration of a deer on the purple cover. How could a story about a fearful, crippled animal move me toward trusting Jesus more?
“Sometimes you remind me of little Much-Afraid,” Moira said softly. “Just give this book a chance. Read it, but read it slowly.”
I was in my final year of college when Moira lent it to me. Aside from being slightly offended that I reminded her of someone called “Much-Afraid,” I was far too busy reading textbooks and writing papers to have time for a classic book.
It sat on my bedside table for months.
And then, one day, something shifted within me. I was knee-deep in my college classes — focused on getting good grades and figuring out a five-year plan. I had no clue what my life was supposed to look like or where I was supposed to go.
I remembered Moira’s words: This book is going to make you trust Jesus more.
“Okay, God,” I prayed. “In the Bible, You spoke through a talking donkey. Of course, You can speak to me through an allegory about a deer. Help me to trust You more.”
I picked up Hinds’ Feet on High Places, thumbing through the old pages, smiling at the stars and underlines Moira had penciled into the margins. I started to read.
As I read, I was shocked by how strongly I identified with Much-Afraid. The Shepherd was so kind to her. Tears stung my eyes, and I longed to be spoken to the way the Shepherd spoke to little Much-Afraid. She saw herself as crippled and ugly, and yet He saw her potential.
“ . . . there is another thing I must tell you. Not only would I have to make your feet like hinds’ feet, but you would have to receive another name, for it would be as impossible for a Much-Afraid to enter the Kingdom of Love . . . Are you willing to be changed completely, Much-Afraid, and to be made like the new name which you will receive if you become a citizen in the Kingdom of Love?”
She nodded her head and then said very earnestly, “Yes, I am.”
As the Shepherd said this, he looked at her very steadily, and she realized that his eyes were searching into the very depths of her heart and knew all that was there far better than she did herself. She did not answer for a long time, because she was not sure what to say, but she looked rather flinchingly into the eyes which were gazing at her so penetratingly and became aware that they had the power of reflecting what they looked upon.
I wondered what my Shepherd would rename me. Who did I see myself as? Someone afraid of the future? Someone who didn’t trust the plans Jesus had for me?
And yet, how does the Shepherd see me? I imagine much like the way the Shepherd saw Much-Afraid.
“He knew her through and through, in all the intricate labyrinth of her lonely heart, better far than she knew herself. No one understood better than he, that growing into the likeness of a new name is a long process, but he did not say this. He looked with a certain tender pity and compassion at the glowing cheeks and shining eyes which had so suddenly transformed the appearance of plain little Much-Afraid.”
As I read Hinds’ Feet on High Places, I came to understand that Moira was right. It did make me trust Jesus more. I fell in love with my Shepherd even deeper, coming to understand His love in a way I hadn’t before. I came to trust that He is good, regardless of how hard the journey might seem — both my journey and Much-Afraid’s.
I took Moira’s copy of Hinds’ Feet on High Places to work the day after I finished it. I went up to my best friend’s desk and put Moira’s well-worn allegory into Sarah’s hands.
“You need to read this,” I said to Sarah. And then, I told her the exact same words Moira had told me. “This book is going to make you trust Jesus more.”
This classic story by Hannah Hurnard is now available in an all-new beautifully illustrated edition from Tyndale House, and it features:
* charming watercolor paintings
* antique-tinted photography
* hand-lettered Scripture verses
* space for journaling and visual self-expression
It’s an absolutely beautiful, unique version of a much-loved book – perfect for gift-giving!
With that in mind, our friends at Tyndale want to give one to FIVE lucky winners! To enter to win a copy of Hinds’ Feet on High Places, leave a comment telling us what you think the Shepherd would rename you. We will choose five winners at random and contact them via email. Contest is open until 11:59 pm central time on December 15th, 2018. Open to U.S. residents only.