I've been reading my favorite book again. I call it a "favorite" because this is my third time journeying through its pages, which is a rarity for a reader like me (i.e. once is usually enough). However, even this third time through, I have been struck with inspiration and have been provoked to think about what it means to walk with God.
The book I'm referencing is called Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It is an allegory following a lame being called Much Afraid on her journey to the High Places, where she hopes to develop hinds feet and receive a new name.
As I mentioned before, I've read this book three times now. The story as a whole speaks to the difficulty and the great reward of obedience to God; but it is also filled with nuggets of truth that seem to shine depending on when I read it. For example, while I've been reading Hinds Feet recently, I came across a moment between Much Afraid and the Shepherd that reminded me of the jealous and romantic nature of Jesus' love...
She noticed that He looked at her keenly and rather strangely as He spoke, and though there was a beautiful gentleness in the look, there was also something else which she had seen before, but still did not understand. She thought it held a mixture of two things, not exactly pity - no, that was the wrong word, but a look of wonderful compassion together with unflinching determination.
When she realized that, she thought of some words which one of the Shepherd's servants had spoken down in the Valley of Humiliation before the Shepherd had called her to the High Places. He had said, "Love is beautiful, but it is also terrible - terrible in its determination to allow nothing blemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved."
And even as I read this part, I began to cry, because God's love seemed so real and so much better than any kind of love I could imagine receiving from anyone else.
It's good to remember that we are loved because it is easy to forget that it is true.