The Woo

bread and wine

I recognized it from woman to woman, a call. As when God spoke, “Let there be light,” and the light went forth, I saw a darkness shirk back. I hardly remember specific moments or feel like I bonded unusually with one person in particular. It was more a growing awareness that each set of lips, if they were willing to be tender, were carrying on the same conversation I had been having with God. In buffet lines, the one behind me picked up where the woman in front of me left off. At another meal we sat together at one long table. One who has fed many passed the bread. We soaked up the sauce together. We  clanked our glasses full of wine. We were all little girls in grown-up clothes. We are all the least of these.

It is easy to aggrandize those in leadership, the nonprofit affiliations, the Katies, the columnists, and the pulpiteers. I am guilty of laying dear ones on the altar of pedestal. I am guilty of thinking one place at the foot of the cross is richer than another, but pedestals end up on their sides every time. May as well stay low. If there’s a better place, it’s the lowest one.

When I refer to my calling, I’m not exactly talking about that I’ll preach one day from podiums, though preaching is a gift of the Spirit that can lay one flat with an open ear. When I mention “calling,” I similarly could refer to my writing because writing is often how I hear, but that’s still not the bottom of it.

My calling is a direction, the pang, the narrow low path and Christ with me on it. It’s the left or the right, until I am face to face. It’s the woo of God until all things are reconciled to, restored in, and unified with Him.

Want to know your calling? Want to find your place? Only listen for the woo. It’s usually at the bottom of things. The woo is in the bow.

About me


When We All Speak a Foreign Language
January 20, 2017
What’s Up: New Year and a New Plan
January 13, 2017
When There’s a Lion in Your Yard
November 18, 2016
What do you taste?
November 08, 2016
An Uncooked Story
January 10, 2016
When The Church Doesn’t Fit Or Fix You: a Wild in the Hollow Guest Post from Christie Purifoy
October 12, 2015
The Hurt and the Healing: A Wild in the Hollow Guest Post by Bonnie King
September 30, 2015
Will They Stay if You Change?
September 28, 2015
Wild in the Hollow Book Club Video: Chapters 1 and 2
September 14, 2015


Kelly Sauer
Reply September 25, 2013

I love the simplicity of this post, and it brought to mind this favorite poem from Christina Rosetti - I think you would love it too.

Give me the lowest place: not that I dare
Ask for that lowest place, but Thou hast died
That I might live and share
Thy glory by Thy side.

Give me the lowest place: or if for me
That lowest place too high, make one more low
Where I may sit and see
My God and love Thee so.

    Reply September 25, 2013

    Kelly, this is gorgeous and so right. THANK YOU, sister. I love you.

Annie Barnett
Reply September 25, 2013

Love this, Amber. I've learned this from my grandmothers and my children and the women who met me in low places - how there are gifts and comfort and presence in the low and the small. So good.

Kelly @ Love Well
Reply September 25, 2013

I am convinced, all the way to my marrow, that the least is the greatest, that the pedestal is an idol, that Jesus is nearest when we are most oblivious to it all anyway.

Funny thing about listening to the woo; when you hear yours, it resonates with the woo in my heart, too.

Reply September 25, 2013

Amber, I just love this--all of us listening and recognizing His woo. Your words draw me close to Him, every piece of me leaning in, desiring to not dare to miss it, this day. Thank you.

Elizabeth W. Marshall
Reply September 25, 2013

Speechless, but listening and loving His Spirit and you.

Reply September 25, 2013

Oh goodness, how I love this! I have had the word "calling" on my brain for a week now. How beautiful it is that we are each called to something unique by God, and how foolish of us to covet or aspire to one another's callings. "May as well stay low" - love it.

Elora Nicole
Reply September 25, 2013

"The woo is in the bow"

...I'll be thinking on this for some time. Always grateful for you.

the Blah Blah Blahger
Reply September 25, 2013

I need more bow in my life...because I really, really want the woo.

Reply September 26, 2013

I went off a little emotional cliff on the FB yesterday because the"woo in the bow" is so real in my life right now. It's messy and but it's in the middle of the mess that I see the face of God most clearly and he's not saying " get your act together". He's saying bring your mess to me! Love this post!

Reply September 27, 2013

So needed to read this. I often find myself torn between praying for the simple - that my ambitions won't ever exceed His plans - and asking Him to let me know how He'd have me shine since for so many years I played it small where He'd have me share my gifts. I love the comment above that says Jesus is nearest when we're most oblivious to it all anyway. Yes.

Reply September 27, 2013

Yes, just "the bottom of it." I keep on telling telling telling it to each wayward direction. Thank you for the reminder and the words on Calling.

David Rupert
Reply October 8, 2013

I think when we recognize calling as you say, "as the least of these" as opposed to the most powerful of these, or the most impressive, or the most connected, then we will truly find God's direction for our lives.

Hannah Alexander Carpenter
Reply October 17, 2013

You took the words right out of my mouth! All leftovers here, too. I think the crazy funk happens for me about once a month ;) But seriously, I've been drowning in the crazy funk more than usual lately. It's hard to get out once you're in. Great post!

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