Much of the time I spent reading Hinds’ Feet on High Places, I wasn’t exactly sure what a Hind was and why there feet were so special. The book is an allegorical tale in the tradition of Paul Bunyan, and provides a simple but meaningful visual aid for understanding the process of sanctification.
The book tells the story of Much Afraid, who lives in the Valley of Humiliation and serves the Chief Shepherd. She is invited by the Shepherd to follow him to the High Places where she will be given a new name, and strong, nimble feet like the feet of a female deer (hind.)
Along the way Much Afraid is kept company by two companions, Sorrow and Suffering. She is forced to go through many detours. On each side trip, she finds herself struggling against he evil relatives, including Pride, Resentment and Craven Fear. Every time the Shepherd saves her and she creates a small altar on which she sacrifices what is holding her back: self will, pride, etc.
The best part is that the book does not end with Much Afraid’s transformation. Having been given the Hinds Feet, she looks back into the Valley of Humiliation, and sees her relatives with pity. She returns home with a new sense of mission, imagining what her family would look like if they, too could be transformed.
Hinds’ Feet provides a much needed understanding of how God changes people. It is not a story about getting to Heaven, but a story about how to become more like our Chief Shepherd. The book has reminded me that life is journey, and, if done at his leading, each sacrifice made along the way serves to shape and form us into the image of Christ.