Finally, Much-Afraid sets out with the Shepherd to begin her journey to the High Places. Surely it would be a long journey, but the Shepherd promised to be with her. She would simply follow His lead, knowing that He would carry her should the journey be too tiring.
The Water Song
After a little while on their journey they came upon a rushing stream that appeared to be singing loudly. If the rushing water had words to hear, it would have gone something like this:
Much-Afraid is puzzled. The Shepherd is calling her to the High Places, but the rushing river is singing to her to go lower. The Shepherd explains that the High Places are the starting places for the journey down to the lowest places in the world. One Much-Afraid had hinds feet, she would be able to run down and up the mountains with the ease.
Much-Afraid never knew that the Valley was such a beautiful place and so full of song.
Upheld by the Shepherd’s hand and supported by His strength, Much-Afraid was not aware of her lameness as she approached the mountains. Thinking the Shepherd would be her companion the entire way, she was baffled to learn that He had chosen for her two unlikely companions – Sorrow and Suffering. Much-Afraid was immediately filled with anxiety and begged the Shepherd to give her Peace and Joy as her companions instead.
But Much-Afraid had promised to trust the Shepherd. Even though she could not understand his choosing, she knew that she had no other choice but to trust Him.
Her heart of trust pleased the Shepherd and He bid her go with Sorrow and Suffering. He promised her that He would always be there, just a call away, should she have need of Him. Much-Afraid knew that the Shepherd would remain faithful to her. She knew the sooner she went with Sorrow and Suffering, the sooner she would reach the High Places.
So she began her journey, limping toward the High Places, shrinking as far as possible from her two veiled companions beside her, pretending not to see their proffered hands. But there was no one there to see.
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