the broken run to the broken for the light

There is awe that can only happen in the very darkest places, in the pitch of addiction, perversion, of true hunger and thirst. I’ve had the heart, cancer black, flip into healed rhythm.

Hundreds gathered for the Idea Camp Conference, and we asked ourselves: What is it that keeps you up at night? After two days of learning the whole-picture (the special needs, the blank-faced, the soldier, the sexed, the taken – all babies with God-image faces), so many of us walked the halls, dispersing for workshops with the knowledge of darkness dripping black from our eyes. Mascara is no use when pealing the surface of the beautiful world back.

I’ve come to believe that we can take a look at the children in any location, and learn about the needs of the entire people there. The children suffer the worst grief of man’s depravity.  But even in all that learning, God did not shrink.

This weekend was all light, all voices speaking  Jesus-words from perspectives that I would never imagine holding up beneath. So many global workers were standing and speaking whole-story truth, and they were holding up, and they were inviting me beneath the burden of the yoke, and I walked under it, and it wasn’t the kind of heavy you’d think – the most exhausting refreshment.

Yesterday, a morning after the conference was officially over, I woke at 4:30, and I was thinking of Cambodia, a place I couldn’t point to on a map. The children. How trafficking makes me want to peel my skin right off, but then the reigning realization that God is Jehovah Good, and he asks me to step into the pain, and so I do

because when God asks us to step into the dark places (like He did/does) to go after the lambs, He goes with us in full Shekinah shadow-swallowing light. And I see Him better and more beautifully right now, today, than I ever have in my entire life.

About me


What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
Findings: the Parent Circle, the gifts, and the simpler thing
March 13, 2015
Women Set Apart
February 23, 2015
Embrace the Awkward
April 09, 2014
It is My Passion That You Know This
January 08, 2014
Begotten: Notes from The Creed
October 15, 2013
Want to go in on a van with me?
September 12, 2013
A Haines Home Companion: Jars of Clay
April 12, 2013
Let the Game Changer Change the Game: Part 1
April 10, 2013


Reply February 28, 2011

As for what to do, after a conference like that:

I'm hearing over and over from attendees, and I sense it within myself, a strong pull toward prayer, fasting, and waiting - to cut out the knee-jerk reactions - to learn as a church to actually HEAR from God that we can take the whole story into account, that we pour out only as He pours in, that we learn to tell the truth, really live the truth.

Reply February 28, 2011

Amber, your comment--such wisdom there. It must have been something. I've been anticipating through Dan King's FB posts for a while. And my reaction is--"what could I possibly do?" are right in saying there is no place we can go that Jesus has not gone before us. Praying, fasting, waiting here. Those children...oh, those little ones.

Charles Lee
Reply February 28, 2011

Thanks Amber for this post & timely reminder.

I'm so humbled by investment into our event. Thank you so much! I've always appreciated your heart, words, and perspectives. Keep up the great work!

Reply February 28, 2011

"The children suffer the worse grief of man's depravity." Beautiful words for a horrendous issue. Great stuff Amber.

Reply February 28, 2011

goodness, girl.

that last paragraph...the tears...i too feel the need to draw inward and avoid those knee-jerk reactions. how, i don't know. i know i just need to say yes before i know the question.

also: you're the second person i've heard who was woken up in the early morning yesterday concerning trafficking and asia. His Shekinah glory already goes before you.

Reply February 28, 2011

I hope Charles will pop back over. He offered that pause on Friday afternoon, asking that we allow God to speak to our spirits. The overwhelming majority of people that I have talked with have indicated that they heard "be still, be patient." Not many people that I have talked with heard "go do something."

These are good words here, Amber. As usual. And I'm not saying that because we're married.

Reply February 28, 2011

ragged sigh. you are beautiful.

Brad Melton
Reply February 28, 2011

I guess I'll step out to offer another point of view. Please don't take offense. I believe these words are not from me but meant for me...

Instead of pause I'm hearing stop.

Stop talking. You (Brad) have talked enough.

Stop thinking. I (God) gave you thought. And it needs no alteration.

Stop sitting. Get off your blessed assurance and do what I've told you to do.

Stop praying. I'm weary of your tired repetitive cries for me to intervene. Intervention is what I expect and have equiped you to do. Instead of prayer, just remain in contact with me. If I have something new to share that pertains to my will for you, you'll be the first to know.

Stop searching. I have already revealed myself. I'm sitting in a cold dark lonely place. Come rescue me.

Stop pretending. You do not fool me.

Stop waiting. I love when you wait on me. But you need to realize when the wait is over. I've already given you my will for you. Now get going!

What is hitting me hard right now are the questions...How many children have been stolen? How many have been tortured? How many have died? How many have longed for death to the time it took me to write these words?

The time has passed for patience. For me, it came and went without notice. Perhaps I missed it because I wasn't paying attention.

Reply February 28, 2011

Brad, please blog this comment. And if you don't have a blog start one. Such important words.

Amber, I am glad that you were present to give beautiful words to my experiences there. I plan to blog soon to try to share my thoughts, just as soon as I can catch them.

Katie @ Imperfect People
Reply February 28, 2011

I loose sleep at night over the horrors of trafficing. We support IJM but I would love to do more. Let me know if i can help you in anyway

Reply February 28, 2011

There are words that take a person on a ride through a soul. Thank-you, Amber, for letting us feel the wind of yours.

Reply February 28, 2011

My hubby and I watched via the live stream video and got to chat with the twittersphere. It was one of the best conferences I have seen. So much hope, so much to process, so excited to see what God is going to do in each life touched by this conference.

Donna Heaney
Reply March 1, 2011

What powerful words and space this morning. Space for the Lord to breathe right in and fill those places that I try to fill up. The empty, the scary silence, the in between. I'm not a patient waiter. I'm not a good faster. I'm not really a good listener. I often say that God gets my attention in the shower and when I cut the grass. Two places where my mind stays open and there is no room for my own words. Thank you Amber and everyone for your comments. Brad, your words hit home to me on so many levels.

Reply March 1, 2011

I'm crying now...thank you.

Reply March 1, 2011

This gave me goosebumps, Amber! Powerful words.

Reply March 1, 2011

I understand your words, Brad. Really.

I think the point was well made in Rob's keynote (, though. Although we need to be proactive, we need to avoid being reactive. In all things, whether the time for individual action is now, or whether the individual needs to process more, prayer is key.

Reply March 1, 2011

Such a season of wait...I'm finding it's my hugest weakness. The unknown is proving harder than loss, even. How can it be so? My own black heart showing itself I guess.

Reply March 1, 2011

Thank you guys for the encouragement here.

I do want to respond to Brad's comment! BRAD, your comment is not offensive at all. I just think we're coming from different places. We are not waiters, at all.

Seth and I are doers, and I know you weren't accusing us of not being. This is just where we're coming from. We don't have much of a history with sitting around and praying stuff out. In fact, we've both said that you just don't have to pray about some things. We've seen obedience to James 1:27 as mandatory.

But what we've been learning is that MANY people who step in to do good, especially in the realm of Orphan Care, can cause more harm than good. The knee-jerks, the "passion spasms," are not what these kids need (not from us anyway.)

There are people out there doing it right and taking the themes from the book "When Helping Hurts" seriously. It takes God-connections, interacting with locals (especially indigenous churches) to know culture and the full scale of what it takes to acquire and maintain holistic health.

I absolutely agree that we need to DO, but not before much prayer and acknowledgment that God alone offers true healing. We, ourselves, have nothing to give. A bag of rice runs out. Money runs out. Most organizations step in and then move away. Even adoption, in some cases, can create a demand for trafficking.

When a child's life is at stake, it is worth the time to wait on God's specific connections and resources.

laura@life overseas
Reply March 1, 2011

Amber. This is beautiful. I love the way you paint Truth with a keyboard and language, friend. I actually watched a bit of the conference from here, but our internet connection kicked us off for most of it. It sounds like it was a powerful Stirring for so many, and what a deeply good thing to be a part of. It's such a big, messy thing isn't it? To rescue children-- and my logic says it shouldn't be, but I know that it just IS. And it's hard to know how to step into that, to sense from the Spirit what specific role each of us has to play.

Anyway, no answers, just a "yeah, I get that, too," from here.

sara @ it's good to be queen
Reply March 2, 2011

wow, i am amazed at how eloquently you can write out your thoughts and feelings. it is beautiful. i hear Jesus' sweet voice in your words.

Reply March 2, 2011

This doesn't necessarily really have anything to do with this, though it may, depending on how far you want to stretch the imagination of metaphor, but anyway, I wanted you to see it because... well... I just think you'll like it.

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