One of my favorite Christian allegories is Hinds’ Feet on High Places, the story of Much-Afraid and her journey across the mountains and into the High Places. It’s a story I enjoy reading every few years, as it encourages me with the reminder that I am not alone in this journey through life: my Shepherd is always with me, always interceding on my behalf, and He has a purpose in every dark thing He calls me to walk through.
I recently started reading it again and came across this short section, in which Much-Afraid and the Shepherd are discussing the unexpected beauties hidden deep with the forest — beauties which most people never even saw. Here’s part of their conversation (emphasis mine):*
“I have often wondered about the wildflowers, she said.
It does seem strange that such unnumbered multitudes should bloom in the wild places of the earth where perhaps nobody ever sees them and the goats and the cattle can walk over them and crush them to death.
They have so much beauty and sweetness to give and no one on whom to lavish it, nor who will even appreciate it.
The look the Shepherd turned on her was very beautiful. Nothing my Father and I have made is ever wasted, he said quietly, and the little wildflowers have a wonderful lesson to teach.
They offer themselves so sweetly and confidently and willingly, even if it seems that there is no one to appreciate them. Just as though they sang a joyous little song to themselves, that it is so happy to love, even though one is not loved in return.
I must tell you a great truth, Much-Afraid, which only the few understand.
All the fairest beauties in the human soul, its greatest victories, and its most splendid achievements are always those which no one else knows anything about, or can only dimly guess at.
Every inner response of the human heart to Love and every conquest over self-love is a new flower on the tree of Love.
Many a quiet, ordinary, and hidden life, unknown to the world, is a veritable garden in which Love’s flowers and fruits have come to such perfection that it is a place of delight where the King of Love himself walks and rejoices with his friends.
Some of my servants have indeed won great visible victories and are rightly loved and reverenced by other men, but always their greatest victories are like the wildflowers, those which no one knows about.
Learn this lesson now, down here in the valley, Much-Afraid, and when you get to the steep place of the mountains it will comfort you.“
Nothing we do for Christ is ever wasted, even if we never see any results from it. No prayer we offer on another’s behalf, no outreach of love to an unsaved person, no service given with the love of Christ as its motivation. Nothing is wasted, because nothing is entirely unseen.
You may feel as isolated as a lonely wildflower in the deepest forest, but you are not unseen. Your Creator is watching — and He is El-Roi, the God who sees all. (tweet this)
Have you ever read Hinds’ Feet on High Places? If so — what’s your favorite part?
*Hinds’ Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard, page 48