Friday, April 13, 2012

Hinds Feet on High Places

Beautiful allegory of a Christian's spiritual development and growth by Hannah Hurnard.

Some things I underlined:

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Much-Afraid shrank back. "I am afraid," she said. "I have been told that if you really love someone you give that loved one the power to hurt and pain you in a way nothing else can."

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Love and Pain go together, for a time at least. If you would know Love, you must know pain too.

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It seemed so impossible to ignore the Fearings, still less to resist them. She did not dare look at the Shepherd, but had she done so she would have seen with what compassion he was regarding her.

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Trust is one of the most beautiful things in the world.

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"Whenever you are willing to obey me, Much-Afraid, and to follow the path of my choice, you will always be able to hear and recognize my voice, and when you hear it you must always obey. Remember also that it is always safe to obey my voice, even if it seems to call you to paths which look impossible or even crazy."

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Therefore, though she went with Sorrow and Suffering day after day along the shores of the great sear of Loneliness, she did not go cringingly or complainingly. Indeed, gradually an impossible thing seemed to be happening. A new kind of joy was springing up in her heart, and she began to find herself noticing beauties in the landscape of which until then she had been quite unconscious.

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It was only a short time after the building of that new altar that her enemies were all upon her again.

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Then Resentment would raise his head over another rock. He was extremely ugly to look at, but his was a horribly fascinating ugliness.

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"Oh Shepherd," gasped Much-Afraid, shaking with relief and hope, "thank you. Do you think Pride is really dead at last?"
"No," said the Shepherd, "it is most unlikely."

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

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As you have noticed, altars are built of whatever materials lie close at hand at the time.

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The Shepherd laughed too. "I love doing preposterous things," he replied. "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."

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Indeed, as she looked she was startled to see Self-Pity (who always looked less ugly and dangerous than his companions) stoop down and pick up a sharp stone which he flung at her with all his might.

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From bitter experience she knew that pictures thrown on the screen of her imagination could seem much more unnerving and terrible than the actual facts.

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At last, one afternoon, when the only word which at all described her progress is to say that she was slithering along the path, all muddy and wet and bedraggled from constant slips, she decided to sing..."If I sing quite loudly," she told herself, "I shall not be able to hear what they say."

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Then Peace (who before had been Suffering) said quietly, "I have noticed that when people are brought into sorrow and suffering, or loss or humiliation, or grief, or into some place of great need, they sometimes become ready to know the Shepherd and to seek his help."

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