Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: FEET (01/17/19)
TITLE: Hinds' Feet
By Linda Lawrence
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“Really?!” I was dumbfounded. Jade had come to my home for a personal retreat, needing God’s cleansing and healing, having defiled her marriage with an affair. I was not feeling love for her, but judgement. However, I was thankful God was making her feel loved, in spite of me.
Jade needed to feel loved. Her husband said he loved her, but she craved more than his expensive gifts and the occasional attention he gave her. She hungered for intimacy.
All I could offer was my prepared guest room, solitude, and prayers for God to restore Jade’s relationship with her husband and with Himself.
I thought of my blue and white guest room as The Kingdom of Love, as in Hannah Hurnard’s classic, Hinds’ Feet on High Places. This allegory of the Shepherd transforming Much-Afraid into Grace and Glory, and Sorrow and Suffering into Peace and Joy, had stirred up ‘first love’ in me on multiple occasions. Over the guest bed hung a banner: His Banner Over Me Is Love. An illustrated children’s version of Hinds’ Feet on High Places lay on the bedside table.
Jade was a romanticist, but not a reader by nature. However, bored, she picked up the book and it began working its life-changing message into her heart. Each chapter spoke truth that she was enabled to receive. She fell in love with the Shepherd as He wooed her with an invitation to live in The Kingdom of Love, out of reach of Bitterness and Self-Pity. He promised to transform her crippled feet into hinds’ feet, able to ascend impossible-appearing mountains. He opened her eyes to how she had believed the lies of Pride and Resentment and let them keep her from following Him to the High Places at His earlier invitations.
Each morning, Jade emerged from the guest room, a little less self-occupied, eyes bright with hope of the possibility of knowing love.
Chapter after chapter strengthened her. All week, Self-pity, Resentment, and Pride tried ambushing her, but they quickly scattered as she called out to the Shepherd for help. She was thrilled to discover means to defeat thoughts that had led her so far astray in the past.
She hung a banner in the guest room — a tapestry of the Shepherd holding a young child in one arm and reaching down with the other to pull someone else up to the high places. Be Not Afraid, it proclaimed.
Jade was being changed from Much-Afraid (of going back to her marriage) to Grace and Glory (totally in love with Jesus), willing to go back to the Valley since she now knew she could ascend with her hinds’ feet to the Kingdom of Love whenever she needed the Shepherd.
One night we sat in front of a fire, sharing with each other our stories of experiencing the Shepherd’s compassion, of His loving us so much that we were able to love each other. We made a list of the thoughts and actions of which we were ashamed and fed them into the fire, asking and trusting the Shepherd to turn our ashes into something He could use.
With joy and humility, I washed Jade’s feet, blessing her feet now committed to walking paths of righteousness, walking faithful to her Shepherd and to her husband.
“I feel God’s love coming through your hands,” she whispered. What sweet blessing God poured out on both of us that evening — each of us transformed.
The evening before leaving for home, Jade emerged from the guest room with a new leather bound Bible her husband gave her to bring on her retreat. Face aglow, she said, “You’ll never guess what I found. I just opened my Bible and it was this book — Hab. . .a . . .kuk. . . Look what it says!”
Grinning from ear to ear, I knew. I knew that The Shepherd had pointed the way for her to go home. He had restored her soul, had given her hinds’ feet so the high places of her longing were always within reach — the Kingdom of Love.
and makes me walk on my high places.
Part I of this story was submitted to an earlier Writing Challenge under the title: Dumbfounded.
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