It is My Passion That You Know This


 

I took this right before I dropped him at the airport.   Good grief, huh?

I took this right before I dropped him at the airport. Good grief, huh?

I’m glad to be here, the  comforting click. I’ve set an alarm for noon. It says “Pray; Drink” because I am a desperate sort. So that’s what I sat to do, and now this, the strange blog. I’m here to tell you that this time around it didn’t feel like Christmas at all until the gifts were over and we were home looking at the lights on the tree. I took it down on the 12th day. Ornaments still linger on the table. I’ve decided that next Christmas needs to start with some liturgy way earlier in the year. I ordered The Divine Hours. I bet this means I have to set more alarms, but I’m not sure yet.

Seth is in Ethiopia. When he messages me, he sounds completely exhausted, but I can hear his heart. His spirit is growing like how a zygote doubles, quadruples, multiplies to the Nth degree until a person is made.

My boys got to go to school today. They have been inside the house for days becoming superhuman apparently. They would wake up and yell EEEEEAT! Then I’d throw bowls and plates and jerk my hand back quick so no one would bite the Mama. Bits got in their claws and hair, and I let them go days with jelly streaking their cheeks because to wash them was to tangle with caged ones who wanted out.

I'm a goober and can't remember WIllie's last name, but watch for this fella. He's a poet, as true blue as any. He wrote formal poetry about civil war era dance halls that spoke deeper to my bones than anything you could find on any radio station.

This is Willi Goehring. Watch for this fella. He’s a poet, as true blue as any. He read formal poetry, voice of civil war era picker, that spoke deeper to my bones than anything you could find on any radio station.

I crave art, and so I have discovered the power of headsets. I listen to books and music while I load the dishwasher and fold clothes. The other day a sitter let me out, and I flew hard and breathless. I went to daytime poetry readings that bled past dark, and then I had pizza and beer with a girlfriend. She’s my friend who disagrees and laughs and lets her story hang out. We argue good, and that’s the kind of friend I love, the rare ones who wrestle out in the open.

I’ve come to love the doubters hard. God is getting bigger. No He doesn’t grow. He just bends and bleeds into every crook of matter and space and time, everything that IS. He is light, and my concept of being and love and grace is growing, and so God goes beyond the good kids all the way outside the universe, all the way outside the church, to those places that welcome greasy-headed, sore poets, the abrasive feminists, and the gay boys. This does not mean that I “desire the world” or “walk in darkness.” I love my neighbor, and I am in the light.

I’m not a liberal. In fact I don’t have a team at all, except maybe here, but I know good and well what the Bible says. I’ve wondered back into wondering what you think of me, and so I stay away. I know this is bad, so HI, I’m back. Sometimes I run and seem to need most the sight of God in the underbelly, because I feel like I am the underbelly, and because I think people forget He is there. He is there as well as in any upper crust of society. He is holy. He’s the whole. I don’t see this blog as a place for underbellies, and that is probably a very good and healthy thing for me and my great need for balance. But I am a stranger in the church. I am a stranger to myself. I am the church.

Some things I don’t say out loud here, half because of grace and half because of fear. But let it be known that I love you.  I’m still learning forgiveness, and to me, you are the church, my people, too. Let me learn to speak here. What if I’m not who you think I am? So many mind-mice are spinning wheels of culture, wheels of “church,” and then wheels of longing. I long for CHURCH, for the communion of the saints. I long for it and then it knocks the breath out of me in the middle of a poem coming out of the mouth of one who some might call a sonofabitch. Stuff like that makes me beg that you’ll let me not hide. Let us come together unafraid.

So now I ask you, can I come here to be ditch low? I don’t know other ways right now. This isn’t guilt speaking. This isn’t my thinking I am less than what I am. This is my saying that I have people who wouldn’t step a metaphorical toe in among us for fear of being cast out. Many neighbors fear we point a god like a gun. These people are my people, too, and whether you know it, they are yours. I want to stand us all in a circle, ye conservatives and liberals, all.  I hear too much about sides, and yet I find myself wanting one. Please let me be one of you. Yet I believe that there are no actual sides.  It is my passion that you know this: There is only the brother we hate and the brother we love. One way is darkness, and the other is light.

Now I give Him thanks, and I take up the broken body. I dig in, both hands, and eat the bread. We are eating together, underside and folks up front, too. Take the full hands to the cup with me. All of us drink it down big red wine, and let it turn all our blood. God, let the transfusion begin.

RESTLESS_MOCKI certainly couldn’t write such a restless post without directing you right away to a book I’m glad has come out into the world. Jennie Allen has been hearing this restlessness in the hearts of so many, and in herself, and so she writes in Restless: Because You Were Made for More,

“We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”

What if discovering God’s unique calling for your life is your greatest responsibility, second only to knowing and loving God? Your restlessness may very well be a divine invitation to purpose, calling and life.

I feel rather unconventional in my own restlessness, and I know Jennie is right.

Go buy a copy of Restless, and the first few of you that might let me know you want a copy will get one! Just leave a comment here saying you would like to read it.

 

amberhaines
About me

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52 Comments

Kate
Reply January 8, 2014

Love what you share. Thanks for doing it.
I'd love to read Restless!

    Amber
    Reply January 8, 2014

    You got it, girl! Send your mailing address to therunamuck at gmail!

suzanne
Reply January 8, 2014

I feel your words deep in my soul today. Particularly when we're on a third snow day after a two-week vacation, and my soul is longing to breathe beyond the confines of our teeny tiny home with its five child-sized inhabitants and no outdoor play. Thanks for providing a bit of space with your words. (and I'm so very eager to read Restless)

    Amber
    Reply January 8, 2014

    Thank you, sister. Send me your mailing address!

Anna
Reply January 8, 2014

If Restless touches my heart half as much as your words do, I'll love it. Thanks for bearing your beautiful soul, Amber and for making it safe for us to do the same.

    Amber
    Reply January 8, 2014

    Thanks for helping me to bear it, you know? Email me your mailing address!

Linda
Reply January 8, 2014

I love your heart Amber. Please know that anything you share is safe because of love and grace. My sins are more easily hidden than those of others, but I am deeply in need of mercy. How can we not offer it with love?

Sarah Jo
Reply January 8, 2014

Thought-provoking, as always!! "Reckless" keeps coming up, everywhere I look. That usually means I should read it, when that happens...

    Amber
    Reply January 8, 2014

    Email me your mailing address, Sarah Jo!

Sarah
Reply January 8, 2014

I love what you share in this space, it always resonates with me! I would love to read Restless!

    Amber
    Reply January 8, 2014

    Sarah, you get the last copy I can offer! Email me your mailing address. Thanks for coming here.

katie
Reply January 8, 2014

love what you write. get excited every time a post shows up on my feedly. :)
i'd love to read the book!

Becca
Reply January 8, 2014

I'd love to read it, not only for myself but for clients as well.

sara
Reply January 8, 2014

The mind mice get you every time, don't they? I read Jennie Allen's Anything last summer and it made me different in my step. And yesterday I came upon Psalm 42 and realized the wheel, the chase, the mice, the life is all in one the same. Only one way off the wheel--and that's to look outward and upward. I'd love to read her latest, Amber.

Nish
Reply January 8, 2014

I love you, sister.

Amber
Reply January 8, 2014

Y'all, I think we're at the limit for giving the book away. Get thee to Amazon!!!! http://www.amazon.com/Restless-Because-Were-Made-More/dp/0849947065/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389200537&sr=8-1&keywords=jennie+allen+restless

Brenna
Reply January 8, 2014

Dripping with beauty.

Tami Kirkpatrick
Reply January 8, 2014

i always knew i liked you. Like you even more now : )
just beautiful

    Amber
    Reply January 8, 2014

    I always knew I liked you, too, fellow mother of many many boys.

Tara Owens
Reply January 8, 2014

I love this, this passion leaking out into poetry and hands and a wildness inside that never lets go. I love the grace of it, the wide openness of your words, the hallowing of this space with the passion that is both suffering and joy inside of you. I hear you answering a rhetorical question, and I stamp-dance it out with you. This is Yes.

Thank you.

Rachel Franklin
Reply January 8, 2014

No matter what's dripping or forming or coming, I've always loved your place as one of my favorites. So glad to hear you again.

Natalie Snapp
Reply January 8, 2014

Sweet Amber, now is the time I tell you...I've been lurking around here, off and on, for years.

When I started blogging four years ago, yours was the blog that caught my attention. "Her voice sounds like mine," I thought. "We are kindred spirits."

Can I encourage you? This is a place you are real and if you are low, then being real about it will allow others to exhale in a way that might push this winter storm right on out. (And for crying out loud...let's please do.)

Keep going and keep writing - you're an inspiration!

    Amber
    Reply January 9, 2014

    Natalie, just thank you for this.

kelli woodford
Reply January 8, 2014

"God is getting bigger. No He doesn’t grow. He just bends and bleeds into every crook of matter and space and time, everything that IS." ... and the whole beautiful paragraph that follows this?

JUST FOR ME.

Thank you much.

    Amber
    Reply January 9, 2014

    Kelli, you are a rare one; you know that?

Jennie Allen
Reply January 8, 2014

Sister- I love this. I love you. Low in the depths with you.

    Amber
    Reply January 9, 2014

    I know you are with me. Love you, too.

Michelle DeRusha
Reply January 8, 2014

Amber, this resonates so, so much with me -- all of it: the low, the fear, the restlessness, the not wanting to take sides, the church is bigger - all of it. Thank *you*.

Lori
Reply January 8, 2014

Taking a deep breathe and taking in all your words...words that speak so much to my soul that I want to scream right now. I've only recently come back to attending a "church" after being absent over 10 years...I'm so flippin scared of christians...and so afraid I am going to hear their hate or judgement that I can't take down my protective walls that I take with me when I walk in their doors...and so I really don't know anyone...I don't really fit into the church or into the "christian" box so I'm left wondering what the heck I'm doing...it seems like everyone wants to point fingers or talk about who is right or the bible says this or that...and in my head I am thinking the bible says a whole lot of stuff about feeding the poor and the hungry. loving the hurting and the sick and the outcasts and so what about that??? It makes my heart hurt when I hear or see hate...I just want to tell everyone to lay down their stones and lets just follow Jesus and lets be about him....and lets just let Him do the convicting of hearts so we can be about his business...I want true pure fellowship with others that love Jesus and want to love on the people...so yeah your words spoke to me tonight and I just had to say thank you. I feel blessed this night to take in your words.

    Amber
    Reply January 9, 2014

    Lori, I can't even tell you what a a big deal it is to me that you would share this here. I am in the same place, except I've been there for ten years now, and in that ten years, I have come to know the people sitting in the pews with me. Their stories have changed me. There are people in church who are living CHURCH, who are reflecting Christ. I'm praying right now that He leads us all to the ones we can encourage in this race, in following Christ, and to the ones who will encourage us.

Robin Troxell
Reply January 9, 2014

Please keep coming as you are. This blog post is my church today. how do you "get" me and we have never met? I want to love everyone with God's love and then I hate the person that cuts me off in traffic or takes too long to write a check at Walmart (who writes checks anymore for goodness sakes!) and my child who can't stop touching me and I am broken. again.

Anya
Reply January 9, 2014

Thanks once more ... poetry eases pain, beauty medicates battered and bruised souls. Thank you, Amber.

Laurel Ghiglia
Reply January 9, 2014

Oh how I love reading you! I would absolutely love a copy of Restless.
Thanks for this!
Lori

Karen
Reply January 9, 2014

I love your blog. Please feel free and accepted here! I have read a Jennie Allen book and love her writing. Would love to receive a copy of Restless. I'm a 67 yr old retired grandma and still feel that restlessness.

Denise
Reply January 9, 2014

I have been restless for about a year and a half now. Thank you for posting this and yes, I want to read this book.

Chadbro
Reply January 9, 2014

Amber, I don't read your blog too much, but I always appreciate it when I do. I dig on both yours and Seth's words. You two are true blue. The other day I think I saw you walking out of the coffee shop as I was walking in. You looked...I don't know...sad? But I don't really know you well enough to say. You seem to process that emotion that I read as sadness with words and i certainly relate to that.

I have a hard time accepting that folks with Jesus as their god aren't always pointing that God gun at me. It's my own quirk and not something I like about myself. So, I often want to take a side. But there's really no reason to. I think it's fine to be in the ditch. And like I say, I'm not really a part of your blog community here, but I think it's pretty fucking powerful when you can express that so bravely and beautifully in an online forum. Gives me hope, and I suspect it boosts your own hope too.

The Tao would say that these moments of lowness are necessary. You only know the mountain top because you know the ditch. And neither is better than the other. Both are essential.

I think you should be here in this virtual space as whoever you are. And I appreciate that you do.

Easy for me to say.

Grazie.

    Amber
    Reply January 9, 2014

    Good grief, Chad. Your brother is my brother, and so I reckon that makes you my brother. I wish you had stopped me. Thank you for all this, every smack dab bit of it.

Nina Kenny
Reply January 9, 2014

I love this, and i love your writing. You had me the first time i read your blog and you mentioned Neil Young; only so many can appreciate :). I bought Jennie Allen's book a month ago. I received notice yesterday that its shipping! Excited to read it.

Marcy
Reply January 9, 2014

Your words here sound like my own deep down cries as I look for real live people. Ones who aren't afraid of big questions without answers and who crave a God that stands powerful and true in the middle of endless, raging contradictions.

This place, you, your story always unearths new things in my soul and I am grateful!

Mary Gemmill
Reply January 9, 2014

http://godspace-msa.com/2014/01/09/where-does-my-inspiration-and-creativity-come-from/

amber- I watched this creative genious just now, then read your post about craving art- may this bless you today as you writing blesses me often.

With love,
May New Zealand

Kathy S
Reply January 10, 2014

LOVE your blog. Would be so interested in receiving RESTLESS - that is the state of my life right now.

Diana Trautwein
Reply January 10, 2014

Priceless. Vintage Amber. Glorious. Thank you.

cassie
Reply January 10, 2014

I have longed for church and community for as long as I can remember. My life has gone through many phases since I first started reading this blog, but I keep returning because reading you gives me the feeling of community. Of acceptance. Of love.

I am so happy to have found this space.

Hannah
Reply January 11, 2014

Hi Amber,
I found you through Angela Story, and I always enjoy your posts. And Angela was right: your poetry is beautiful. :) Thanks for being real.
Hannah

Nacole
Reply January 14, 2014

Um, Amber, whoa. "I've come to love the doubters hard. God is getting bigger".... all of that, I had to re-read it a few times to make sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing. And then, I just sat back in my chair and stared at the screen, and let out a deep, long sigh. Somebody said it. IT. The thing I've been trying to say for so long. The thing I've wanted to say, and been afraid to, the thing I've actually said, and not sure if anyone knew what I meant, only hinting and dancing around the sidelines. You pen so poignantly here my heart. You put words to only a nuance of an idea; it's more of an ache that has no description. You are beautiful in a thousand ways. The way you bleed to be real, and to be reverent. And can I also say--the restlessness? I'm feeling it too. Love you, and *thank you* for writing this. I'll be in touch--been thinking of talking with you.

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