How to Survive Servitude

How do we live, do we gather in the stories of the motherless, and tuck them deep like rose thorn in the foot of our souls? How do we carry on in the juice of life, in our celebratory culture, and still know of poverty’s pain with our own twists of understanding?

How do we live in the knowledge of global pain without succumbing to the paralysis of depression?

We cannot turn our hearts to the poor, the fatherless, or the widow without  being armed with JOY. What would there be to offer then? In the courts of worship, in the inner courts, is a burning fire, and with the fire, the face bowed low, is a smile.

I can’t see God, but this week I worshiped Him anyway, in truth and in Spirit, and in that place, JOY came over my eyes like a mud-cake wiped clean.

In our service, in all the things that we call sacrifice so that others might live, if our one true desire is not Communion with a Holy God, then we will not make it. We will curl in the rubble and come dry of faith. It’s going to be one way or another. We are not made to save the world.

We are made for Communion. And only out of that, in the joyful courts of worship, will the rubble of life not consume.

About me


Communion with Depression
February 17, 2017
When We All Speak a Foreign Language
January 20, 2017
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
If Love is the Only Goal
January 04, 2016
Findings: the Parent Circle, the gifts, and the simpler thing
March 13, 2015
Women Set Apart
February 23, 2015
The Barbarian’s Heart
February 11, 2015
True Story
September 24, 2014
You Have Not Come to Darkness
April 30, 2014


Reply November 17, 2010

I have found this to be so Amber. Your writing sings with the joy of worship. Thank you.

Reply November 17, 2010

Mmmmm, I totally get this. You said it just right.

Reply November 17, 2010

I struggle with this. To see the poor and not be so overwhelmed to do nothing. To worship God when I don't see, hear, feel Him.

Your phrase about being made for communion kind of reminds me....I'm reading Hosea right now. After reading the first chapter I was blown away by the fact that Gomer was lawfully Hosea's wife, but he bought her back. He woo'd her. In turn we were created for God. For communion, unadulterated by sin, with Him. When sin entered the world He bought us back. To regain that communion. How beautiful.

Reply November 17, 2010

Prudence, I LOVE that. Very beautiful.

Reply November 17, 2010


First - thank you countless times.

Second; I have felt this finger pointing at me before:) Amber you are right to remind me to serve today. To get up, and out, and serve – and so I know exactly where to go. And I will bring JOY with me. I have not much to give, but I can give time, and effort, and an ear, and not so much the mouth cause that talks too much, and the Spirit and a face with “mud-cake wiped clean” eyes. (I so heart your poetry).

A shower, spiritual by prayer – and then by water. Put on the workboots - and go serve. I would not have if you didn’t remind me. That’s your candle in the window – that’s the candle that reminded me to serve someone today. That’s a candle I know that made God smile.

I will not “curl in the rubble and come dry of faith” today. (so pretty) Thank you. Now I have to do what my finger pointy sister told me to do. Bye.

Reply November 17, 2010

thank you.
just...thank you.

Flower Patch Farmgirl
Reply November 17, 2010

I have been asking myself the same questions lately and your answers - the truth - were said so beautifully and so succinctly. Live in Joy. Commune. Then serve.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply November 17, 2010

When the knowing weighs us down too much, I don't think we are walking Jesus' way. His way is filled with joy. Joy is strength. It is light. It is hope. It is praise. It is a huge part of the battle. (It's something I've been thinking about lately too.)

Reply November 17, 2010

Amber, I'll be honest. I am not good at interpreting poetic writing. I love your blog- even though I usually don't understand what some of it means. But I got this one. I have been thinking about this lately. Do you know about Sweet Sleep? Check it out if you haven't! Their blog is especially good. I've been reading it before bed and I can hardly move. I feel paralized with the thought of these poor children living such hard lives. It is almost more than my mind and heart can comprehend. How God continues to let us all live is beyond me. But it is good to get a glimpse of God's heart and see how he hurts. And to beg for God to comfort and intervene where ever these kids are. Thanks for writing. It is good to know others feel the same. Sometimes I want to walk up to people and shake them- "Don't you know what is happening to children around the world." Our church didn't even acknowledge orphan sunday. There has been some anger there. But I am planning to make sure that doesn't happen again! I want to go up on stage in front of the very large auditorium and say "help these kids!!!" But that is not the route I will take. :) I am not sure that would be received well. :)

Reply November 17, 2010

ps- don't you love how knowing more about his heart and these hurting kids forces you into his arms? So sweet.

Reply November 18, 2010

Love every word. Such simple truth, as is most everything that is life changing. Thanking you for the humbling reminder.

Reply November 18, 2010

"We cannot turn our hearts to the poor, the fatherless, or the widow without being armed with JOY. "

- I will be processing this for awhile. Thanks for giving me something to chew on - yet again. :)

Reply November 19, 2010

I SO completely needed this direction. Thank you.

Have you heard of the book "When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor . . . or Yourself"? It's in my next Amazon order. It looks like it gives some practical guidance.

    Reply November 19, 2010

    Seth read it, and read half of it aloud to me, and all our friends have read it, so it's the framework for which we're trying to approach our service. So cool, Megan!

    Reply November 19, 2010


    This is a must read. It will deconstruct the way you view ministry, missions, and "helping" and reconstruct you around a biblical framework. Be forwarned... it'll stretch you A LOT!

    Anyone here interested in a logical, biblical framework for missions/justice should grab this book.

Reply November 19, 2010

Amber...I've been wondering this. How to really invest without coming undone. I sent it to my friend who is adjusting to life as a missionary in Uganda. Thank you...

Elizabeth @claritychaos
Reply November 19, 2010

we are not meant to save the i hadn't really looked at it that way before, but the perspective you share here certainly sheds new light on the problem. it's so hard not to be overwhelmed with the sheer volume of hurt and wrong in the world...and not being able to fix it...well, obviously you get it. I'm sort of rambling here because you got me thinking.

Reply November 29, 2010

...what Elizabeth said. Thank you.

Reply December 8, 2010

so truly good dear friend. i've lost track of the joy while slowly stepping into the pain. my heart cries out for joy...but not the ignorant kind that I've allowed since leaving my precious students in the city and having babies of my own...but the kind that you write about that comes while looking pain and suffering in the face. i try to separate the two (the joy and the pain) and find it to be either a lie or depressing. God will be faithful to straighten this out in my heart and mind...I know his goodness and his power...

you're writing is beautiful.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *