lessons from Much-Afraid {the Falls}

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After riding the chairs to the precipice, Much-Afraid is almost to the end of her journey. While outwardly she hasn’t changed much, inwardly she is not the same little Much-Afraid that began this journey. As Paul declared in his letters, there is so much less of her and more of the Shepherd. Every step of the way she has had to build an alter to sacrifice more and more of her will and human desire. And every stop of the way she has become more and more at peace with the direction the Shepherd leads her.

They arrive at the top to see the beginning of the great waterfall. The Shepherd asks her to just sit and watch the water. Have you ever sat and watched water fall? And then have you ever seen a waterfall that is forced to move upward? When we were at Disney World a few weeks ago there was this water feature that was squirting up. It was fascinating to watch it, but it looked so forced. You knew that the water was going against it’s nature. Especially when you would walk to another part of the park and see a fountain that was falling down. Water is intended to flow down. To cast itself forward and over. Self-giving.

This is what the Shepherd says to Much-Afraid:
At first sight perhaps the leap does look terrible, but as you can see, the water finds no terror in it, no moment of hesitation or shrinking, only joy unspeakable, and full of glory, because it is the movement natural to it. Self-giving is its life. It has only one desire, to go down and down and give itself with no reserve or holding back of any kind. You can see that as it obeys that glorious urge the obstacles which look so terrifying are perfectly harmless and indeed only add to the joy and glory of the movement.

This water flowing is a reminder of what flows through us. This love of God which He desires to be an outpouring.

Hannah Hurnard writes that this love, this outpouring, this giving happens through
humility: pouring oneself down lower and lower
giving: the poured out life gives life and power to others. The more love it gives, the more it fulfills itself
and service: waterfalls serve beyond anything we can imagine. The can make power happen. They can supply water to places that would die without it.

This is love. This is service. This is the divine calling that our Great Shepherd has called us to.

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