and down will come baby, cradle and all


One of my most amazing girlfriends has been spending this week with me. Nicole has been a high-school English teacher in Portland, and when she and her hubby come to visit his family, Nicole will spend a few extra days around here. It’s amazing because we always look the same – same haircut and general taste in most everything. She’s a younger, smarter, more beautiful version of me, and having her here is one long, good conversation – like the kind you have over coffee or cigars – and we haven’t had either of those things.
One silly thing we’ve discussed is Word Jail. This is something we’ve both used with our students to keep them from being vague and abstract, and I’ve been thinking about how funny it is that I would always put the word LOVE in Word Jail so my students wouldn’t use it, but I use it all the time in my own writing. 
Truth is that LOVE  just sometimes is vague and abstract, and there’s nothing else to render out of it but a sharp pain in your chest and worrisome triggers to the imagination. 
I have these friends who are in deep hurt – two of them, and I love them so big and bad that I can’t even think of them except to cry, and I think of them too often. I saw one at church on Sunday, and I sat at my seat and wept, and I begged God to tell me what to do to make everything better for him, and I got nothing. When I got up to go to the restroom, one of my dear friends grabbed my shoulders and asked if she could pray for me, and for the second time in prayer, someone asked me to repeat the words in repentance. 
This wasn’t exactly it, but she asked me to say something like this to God: I repent of carrying a burden that is not mine to carry, and I confess that You love my friends more than I ever could. I can lay their burdens at Your feet, and I can trust You. 
Fwew! I can’t explain how it has changed my life to think that all the loving and good wishing in this world toward my friends will never change God’s intentions and perfect love for them. 
It is hard to learn to rest with a hurt heart. Imagine the boat in the storm where the disciples were freaking out in fear, and Jesus had been just lying there asleep in the knowledge of God’s plan, and from this scene, remove the disciples, wake Jesus up to man the storm, and you lie down and rest. It’s still raining. The boat still seems to nearly tip over. But we have to rest. He’s got it under control. 

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I’ll be out for a few more days. Have fun in blogland without me, and write amazing stuff for when I come back to ignore my filthy house and children, so I can spend yummy hours in everybody else’s business. Oh how I LOVE your business. 
amberhaines
About me

7 Comments

Sarah
Reply July 17, 2008

Well thanks a lot Amber, now I'm weeping here at work :). I need to pray the same prayer.
Hope you have a fun few days off. We'll have to get together when we're all back in town. Love you!

Craig & Cindy
Reply July 17, 2008

Amber, we miss you. I've been checking your blog often (the irony is blogs are a great way to avoid work I love doing?!?!?) I am sorry to read your friends are hurt.

Your radically cool and talented husband called me yesterday with the best of news. Can't wait to sit down for a dinner with you guys.

Cindy

Craig & Cindy
Reply July 17, 2008

Amber, we miss you. I've been checking your blog often (the irony is blogs are a great way to avoid work I love doing?!?!?) I am sorry to read your friends are hurt.

Your radically cool and talented husband called me yesterday with the best of news. Can't wait to sit down for a dinner with you guys.

Cindy

Megan
Reply July 17, 2008

oh how i know this wishing and hoping, instead of trusting God to do the good work.

i recently figured out that i try to do everything in my own power first to rescue somebody, and then when i am out of ideas i turn to God.

this is an amazing thing to pray! He already loves them perfectly, and I can trust HIM!!

Megan
Reply July 17, 2008

Megan again. We met at Stacey's a couple of months ago. . .

I've been thinking about opening up the blog I started for my prayer website (www.prayerhouse.net) to guest posts, and as I've followed your blog I've really come to appreciate your writing style and perspective.

I'd be thrilled if you would consider writing a guest post about prayer--how God uses prayer in your life (like this post) or your favorite passages about prayer or when you came to rely on prayer for the first time or something like that.

let me know what you think. Thanks!

Nicole
Reply July 17, 2008

I'm crying as a I read this, and I miss you so, so much.

SO MUCH!

karalaney
Reply July 17, 2008

amber haines...i love you my dear friend. there aren't words...but God knows how very special and precious you are to Him and so many...

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