A thorn comes to mind – a specific thorn used by the Shepherd in the book Hinds’ Feet on High Places. The story follows young, crippled Much Afraid. She lives in the Valley of Humiliation surrounded by the Shephard’s workers and her Fearling relatives. Her heart’s desire is to follow the Shepherd up to the High Places and to escape her awful family, but her feet are lame and she has much fear and trembling in her heart.
One day, she expresses to the Shepherd her wish to go to the High Places. He says that he will take her, but that it will be a long journey. He tells her that she must trust him completely – no matter what the journey looks like and no matter where it takes her. He promises her several things – two guides (Sorrow and Suffering), to make her feet like hinds feet, and to change her name once she gets there. And then he asks her if she is willing. She considers the consequences and understands that – according to what he’s just said – it could take her a lifetime to reach the high places. But she loves him and she does trust him. So she says yes.
She bears her heart to him and allows him to plant the seed of love into it. The seed is the shape of a thorn and it’s quite painful going in but only for an instant. He explains that by the time she reaches the High Places, the seed/thorn will be ready to bloom.
The book is the story of her adventure and it’s just brilliant!
Habakkuk 3:19, “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.”