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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Inspired by . . . the Shepherd’s eyes

What do you see when you look into the eyes of Jesus?

Or, better asked, what do you imagine you will see when you look into His eyes?










For the next several weeks I’ll be joining Barbie and company in {re}reading Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard.  If you’d like to join us, you can find more information here.


What stood out to me the most in the first chapter was what Much-Afraid saw in the Shepherd’s eyes.

Firstly, “his eyes were searching into the very depths of her heart and knew all that was there far better than she did herself.”

Much-Afraid noticed that his eyes, “had the power of reflecting what they looked upon” and “she could see her heart as he saw it.”

Much-Afraid’s desire to love, as natural and right as it seemed to her, was not the same as the Love that Shepherd wanted her to know. It was only when Much-Afraid looked at her desire through the eyes of the Shepherd that she could see it for what it was, a selfish and prideful sort of love. I need to constantly hold my desires up against the mirror of Truth.  Do they look the same? or do they appear as filthy rags? and if so, am I willing to surrender those rags for the pure, white, blood-washed gown that Jesus offers?

Secondly, Much-Afraid thought, “that he had the most patient eyes she had ever seen.” Yet, “at the same time there was something in them that hurt her to the heart,”

Reading this reminded me of a quote, also by Hannah Hurnard, that I have written in my bible at the beginning of the Song of Songs:




“Love is beautiful, but it is also terrible –

terrible in its determination to allow nothing

blemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved.”


I think that terrible-ness is what Much-Afraid saw in the Shepherd’s eyes that caused her to shrink back in fear. Have you seen/sensed this terrible determination in your {heavenly} Father’s eyes? Don’t misunderstand this look for the stern “flashing eyes” with which the Shepherd looked upon Much-Afraid’s cousin, Craven Fear. They are very different. Remember, we come to Jesus as we are, but He does not leave us that way. He loves us far too much to do so. That is why, “Love and Pain go together, for a time at least.”

Finally, although Much-Afraid “so quickly acted like her old name and nature,” just minutes after accepting the seed of Love from the Shepherd, shame overwhelmed her and she never saw, “with what compassion he was regarding her.” Rather she assumed he was despising her for “her silly fears” and turned away. How often do we turn from God in shame and miss what He truly has for us?

There are those who are strong for the Lord. Who go forth, like Samson and David's mighty-men, standing strong and tall. Never wavering. But the majority of His people are weak, timid. A fearful flock. Even so, He gives us this promise:



A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not quench. Matt 12:20


In the words of C.H. Spurgeon:

“Herein is grace and graciousness! Herein is love and loving-kindness! How it opens to us the compassion of Jesus—so gentle, tender, considerate! We need never shrink back from His touch. We need never fear a harsh word from Him; though He might well chide us for our weakness, He rebukes not. Bruised reeds shall have no blows from Him, and the smoldering wick no damping frowns.”

Indeed, like Much-Afraid, we shall never see condemnation in the Shepherd’s eyes. Sin has to be dealt with, certainly, but Jesus dealt with it on the cross.  As Hannah Hurnard describes in this beautiful allegory, the seed of Love is a long, sharply-pointed thorn. It’s shape matches the scars on our Savior’s body exactly.

Just as the Shepherd looks at Much-Afraid,

the Lord looks at us,

“very kindly… but with full understanding.”

So, what do you see when you look in His eyes?






Sharing inspiration here:




  1. will they crinkle with delight and recognition?

    I want to hear Him say 'well done ...'

  2. "holding my desires up against the mirror of truth". I loved to read your thoughts. Beautiful!

  3. I need to dig out and dust off my copy of Hinds Feet in High Places, it's such a powerful book. Thanks for the prompt June and thanks for your beautiful post.

  4. Beautiful post, June.

    In my Savior's eyes I see acceptance. Sometimes disappointment, but never condemnation. I see eyes that speak to me the message that my heart longs to hear..."I see you, all of you, and you are worth loving. No more "not enough" or "too much" - you are just right for Me."



  5. This really touched on something powerful; true love does the right thing, not the easy thing. Our society has confused what love means. Love isn't just affection, fondness, and self sacrifice, it is the assent of our will to do the right thing based on Biblical characteristics. I feel like our generation has really dropped the ball on this. You inspired some thinking! Man it's painful...

  6. Hi June! I am not reading this book, but I have to say that I love that name: "Much Afraid" Who can't relate to that? I guess it's true that I am mostly timid, and weak to boot. This sounds like a wonderful instrument to unlock the lion of grace in all of us.

  7. I've re-read Hinds Feet several times myself. Love the lessons from that journey! I'm so glad we can see love and acceptance in the Shepherd's eyes.

  8. Oh, I read that book so long ago. I still have a paperback copy somewhere in the house. This will be a wonderful and enriching study. If I truly think about Jesus searching me with his eyes, I like to think of them as compassionate eyes. Spurgeon really nailed how I feel.

  9. Love this encouragement to really look into His eyes...I find it to be the hardest thing to do sometimes. So appreciate your take that whatever we see there is motivated by His great love for us. Thank you so much for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

  10. I remember how much I loved that book when I read it years ago! It's nice to be reminded of how sweet that story is. I might need to get my copy out again :). Thanks, June.


If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June