The Shepherd called to Much-Afriad to come and join him on the chair, hung by a cable. If she would but trust herself to the chair, she would be carried in perfect safety up to the place that He wished to take her without any struggling and striving on her part.
When she and her companions, along with The Shepherd, had reached their destination, they had arrived at the borderland of the Kingdom of Love. And what a breathtakingly beautiful site it was, filled with little rushing streams and flowers of many kinds. Above were peaks of pure white snow and the sun shone brightly, filling the land with the glory of it’s rays.
The Falls of Love
The Shepherd asked Much-Afraid to study the great waters in their abandonment of self giving. But she could barely watch, because of the great leap they and to make, casting themselves down to the depths beneath to be broken on the rocks.
But at the Shepherd’s prompting to look closer, she almost gasped with wonder as she saw the waters come alive like winged things, so filled with joy and abandonment in giving themselves that she almost could suppose she was looking at a host of angels floating down on rainbow wings.
She noticed the lower the water fell, the lighter it seemed to grow. On reaching the rocks below, the waters flowed together in glorious host, forming an exuberant, rushing torrent which swirled triumphantly around and over the rocks.
Much-Afraid and her companions learned that they were brought to this beautiful place to rest and prepare for the last part of the journey. The Shepherd remained with them there, teaching them many things about the Kingdom. It was as though grace flowed from His lips and sweet ointments and spices were diffused wherever He went. Much-Afriad would have thankfully remained there and not cared about reaching the High Places had it not been that she still walked on crooked feet, still had a twisted mouth, and still had a fainting heart.
The Shepherd warned her that she may encounter mist and cloud on the journey onward, and that everything she had seen of the High Places may appear to have been just a dream. But it is the mist that would be the illusion, the Shepherd stated, for she had seen reality.
A Glimpse Of The Kingdom Of Love
On the last day in the borderland, the Shepherd carried Much-Afraid up to the summit of one of the High Places–in the Kingdom of Love itself! While there on the mountaintop, He was transfigured before her, and she knew Him then to be what she had dimly sensed all along–the King of Love Himself.
He led her to an altar of pure gold. There, He told her to kneel, and with a pair of golden tongs brought a piece of burning coal from off the altar. Touching her with it, He said, “Lo! this hath touch thy lips; and thy iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged” (Isaiah 6:7)
It seemed to her a burning flame of fire too beautiful and terrible to bear had gone through her entire being, and Much-Afriad lost consciousness and remembered no more.
Much-Afraid asked the Shepherd if the time was coming soon for His promise to her to be fulfilled. The Shepherd assured her that the time was coming and that she could dare to be happy.
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When Much-Afraid asked what the place was where they had been resting, He responded, “This is the place to which I bring My beloved, that they may be anointed in readiness for their burial.”