High Places and a Middle River Donut
January 27, 2024
There is a story of a young woman named Much Afraid, and her journey away from her Fearing family She was asked to go to the High Places of the Shepherd, guided by her two companions Sorrow and Suffering. It is an allegory of a Christian devotional life from salvation through maturity. It aims to show how a Christian is transformed from unbeliever to immature believer to mature believer, who walks daily with God as easily on the High Places of Joy in the spirit as in the daily life of mundane and often humiliating tasks that may cause Christians to lose perspective.
The book "Hinds Feet On High Places", takes its title from Habakkuk 3:19, "The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places."
The story begins at the Valley of Humiliation with Much Afraid, being beset by the unwanted advances of her cousin, Craven Fear, who wishes to marry her. Much Afraid is from all outward appearances, disabled. Inwardly, she was plagued with fear.
The Good Shepherd is tender and gentle with Much Afraid, especially in the beginning. He doesn't settle for her staying in her house. He goes and comes back and sends people to help her. Mrs. Valient is a friend whom is "very persistent!" The Good Shepherds' many sudden departures may strike the reader as bizarre, given the human penchant to expect kindly souls to never do anything that may be interpreted as rude or as hurtful in any way. Yet, though the Shepherd leaves in a moment, He returns the same way at the first furtive cry of the forlorn little protagonist. "Come, Shepherd, for I am much afraid!"
When Much Afraid intimates that she would love to be able to dance upon the High Places as do the sure-footed deer, the Shepherd commends her for this desire. In order to accomplish this, he offers to "plant the seed of love" into her heart. At first sight of the long, black hawthorn-looking seed, she shrieks in fear. Soon, she relents, and after the initial intense pain, she senses that something is indeed different in her, though she still looks the same, for now.
Just when the reader thinks that Much Afraid is about to reach the High Places, the path turns downward towards a seemingly endless desert. There is an incident with an extremely high cliff that must be ascended by a steep, slippery and very narrow zig-zagging track, with the help of her two companions, Sorrow and Suffering. Then days are spent in a forest that is shrouded in a thick cloud of fog. During this time Much Afraid is sequestered with her two friends in a log cabin. The climax is an unexpected twist that comes as Much Afraid despairs of ever reaching the High Places.
"Hinds Feet On High Places", by Hannah Hurnard
So then my own " 'Much Afraid' story" is about the drive I make each Friday morning to Thief River Falls. I pick up 2,400 copies of the "Roseau Times Region". Most trips are easy peasy. Just get in the van at 7 a.m., pick up Londa for company at 7:15, drive to TRF, and maybe help them stuff and stack our papers, load the van, often with the guys in TRF, drive back to Roseau. Forgetting the most important event of this quick trip is stopping in Middle River for a 20 oz. Cappuccino.
When days are icy, Kyle usually does the run. Some days though, the unexpected will happen. It is a situation which you never plan on. Lessons learned: Drive slow. Don't use cruise control. If cars line up behind you, don't try to speed up because you may spin out, either into the opposite lane, or into the ditch.
So then, I am learning how to drive on the ice.
So then, driving on the ice, I was fluctuating between 50 and 30. Depending where I was, on a clear straight away, or a curve, you have to think ahead because to brake can get you into a lot of trouble. Driving into Middle River I slowed to 30. It was icy so I just let it slow down by itself. I came to the entrance of the Cenex gas station. I hit the turn at about 20 mph, there was a truck behind me. As soon as I hit the entrance, I started to spin...I did a donut. Yup it was a a complete donut in slow motion. I didn't say anything and Londa didn't say anything, like she said later, "I just saw trees go by in slow motion as we did a complete circle. There was a guy at the gas pump watching us with his mouth open! Lesson Learned! I will never never never take a turn any faster than 10 mph maybe 5...Good Grief!!!!! But you wanna know something? It was a good experience because I am a lot smarter! ...Good Grief Again!!!. So I am still very thankful to Kyle for easing the load. But like I said it is something you need to get your head around. Right??