Sorrow and Suffering, Much Afraid's companions on her journey.
"...She awoke suddenly because she knew someone had called her. She waited in silence, then a Voice said, "Much Afraid."
"Behold me, here I am my Lord," she answered.
"Much Afraid," said the Voice, "Take now the promise you received when I called you to follow me to the High Places, and take the natural longings for human love which you found already growing in your heart when I planted my own love there and go up into the mountains to the place that I show you. Offer them there as a burnt offering unto me."
(The story goes on to share how she reels at this request, how she contemplates giving up, but ultimately decided to obey, reaching the point of feeling 'neither despair nor hope.' )
"....She felt noting but a great stillness in which only one desire remained, to do that which he had told her, simply because he had asked it of her. The cold dull desolation which had filled her heart in the cave was gone completely; one flame burned there steadily, the flame of concentrated desire to do his will. Everything else had died down and fallen into ashes.
....After she had waited for awhile and he still had not come, she put out her hand and with one final effort of failing strength grasped the natural human love and desire growing in her heart and struggled to tear them out. At first touch it was as though anguish pierced through her every nerve and fiber, and she knew with a pang, almost of despair that the roots had wound and twined and thrust themselves into every part of her being. Though she put forth all her remaining strength in the most desperate effort to wrench them out, not a single rootlet stirred....."
(The Shepherd then comes and offers to take her heart out for her...)
"...Oh thank you, I beg you to do so, only I am a great coward. I am afraid the pain may cause me to try to resist you. Will you bind me in some way so that I cannot move? I would not like to be found struggling while the will of my Lord is done."
He bound her hand and foot. She then lifted her face towards the High Places, which were quite invisible, and spoke quietly through the mist, "My Lord, behold me - here I am in the place thou did send me to - doing the thing thou didst tell me to do, for where thou diest, I will die, and there will I be buried, the Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death part thee and me."
So there was silence, a silence as of the grave, for indeed she was in the grave of her own hopes and still without the promised hind's feet, still outside the High Places...this was the place which the long heartbreaking journey had led her. Yet once more before she laid it down on the alter she repeated the promise which had been the cause for her starting to the High Places. "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."
Hinds Feet On High Places
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