Given the choice between reading a book that is new to me and one that I’ve read before, I would most likely choose the new one. After all there are so many books to read, and so little time! But I made an exception recently and re-read Hannah Hurnard’s classic Hinds’ Feet on High Places.
The story is as I remember it from my teens and twenties, how little Much-Afraid follows the Shepherd to the High Places, leaving behind her cousin Craven Fear and all of her Fearing relatives, as she is gradually transformed into Grace and Glory. Her constant companions and helpers along the way are Suffering and Sorrow, and they too are transformed by the journey, to become Joy and Peace.
This allegory spoke so powerfully into my life when I first read it, that I still sometimes think of myself as Much-Afraid on my way to becoming Grace and Glory. Like her I sometimes stumble and fall, I am reluctant to embrace suffering and sorrow, and I need the Shepherd to cheer and guide me.
Hannah Hurnard wrote her allegory in 1955, inspired by Psalm 18:33:
He makes my feet like the feet of deer,
And sets me on my high places.
Now her book has been turned into “an engaging visual journey,” and definitely lives up to its subtitle:
The interior of the book is just as gorgeous as the cover, with 80 full-colour watercolours, photographs, and hand-lettered Scriptures. Just as Much-Afraid takes time to reflect on her journey, readers are also given a bit of space for their own notes throughout the book, and a few pages to colour appear at the end.
Also included are two additional pieces by Hannah Hurnard: “Lessons Learned on the Slopes of the High Places,” which is a reflective piece she wrote while on a trip to Switzerland and a brief autobiography including her call as a missionary.
This is a beautiful book to give and receive for anyone journeying through trial, for anyone who loves a good story and is inspired by art.
Thank you to Tyndale House Publishers for supplying me with a complimentary copy of this book for review. As always, the choice to review and the opinions expressed are my own.
Other recommended links for those who may be struggling:
38 Powerful Bible Verses for Overcoming Life’s Struggles
Verses of encouragement when life is hard.
After the Death of a Dream by Tasha Burgoyne
“Behind the veil of silent seasons, loss, drudgery, and dreams come undone, know that you are deeply loved and delighted in. God is at work.”
Faith for Failures – podcast by Doug Bursch
One of my favourite episodes of The Fairly Spiritual Show – “Faith does not give up in your 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, even when you’re 90. You just keep contending.”
Writing/Reflection Prompt: In what ways do you think of yourself as “much afraid”? In what ways are you growing into “grace and glory”?
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