Chapter 10 - Mountain of Calamus
Gentleness (The Terror of Love)
This contrast became very vivid to the consciousness of Grace and Glory as she sat up there on the rocky throne beside the King of Love. On the one hand she saw the terror and the grandeur of the rocky cliffs, and on the other the grace and gentleness of the reeds which clothed the mountain slopes.
"The terror and the beauty of love." The words suddenly came into her mind with such force and clarity that she turned and looked at the king to see whether he had spoken them....
"My Lord," she said, "I have another question to ask you. You have brought me here to the Mountain of Calamus where the reeds of gentleness grow. And I know so much about the gentleness of your love in my own experience. But is there another side to love? Can love be terrible as well as gentle? Is love really like a consuming fire which cannot be approached without fear and trembling? Can love even appear to be cruel and terrible?"
..."Yes," he said, "Love is a consuming fire. It is a burning, unquenchable passion for the blessedness and happiness, and, above all, for the perfection of the beloved object. The greater the love, the less it can tolerate the presence of anything that can hurt the beloved, and the less it can tolerate in the beloved anything that is unworthy or less than the best, or injurious to the happiness of the loved one. Therefore it is perfectly true that love, which is the most beautiful and the most gentle passion in the universe, can and must be at the same time the most terrible ---terrible in what it is willing to endure itself in order to secure the blessing and happiness and perfection of the beloved, and, also, apparently terrible in what it will allow the beloved to endure if suffering is the only means by which the perfection or restoration to health of the beloved can be secured."
Mountains of Spices by Hannah Hurnard, Copyright 1977 by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers,Inc. All rights reserved.