How to Start a Revolution: Hear the Wanting, Part 2


Yesterday I started this series, so catch up here with Part 1.


Sometimes we don’t know ourselves very well. If you want to begin a revolution, spend a day and just take note. Spend a day, and wake up to your own wanting. 

I don’t want to assume that you’re like me at all, but you could be, and if you are, then:

look yourself in the mirror and hear what comes out of your heart. You think your eyes aren’t bright anymore. Touch the age spot there, darker now.  Want a visit to Sephora for some magical creams. Make a plan for your body or just want a plan desperately. Stand on the scales and let that decide your hope. Want for beauty. Beauty is power. You would never say this, but you act it out. Want a magazine that tells you how. Want what will tell you how to be better at wanting.

In the pantry, say “not enough.”

Stand back and look at yourself. Take note every single time of “not enough.”

At the closet, wear the same shirt you always do. Want for more. Want for beauty more. Hail the style. Imagine yourself on your next outing. What will your clothes say about you? Who are you? Expect more of yourself. Walk to your phone. Hope with all your heart your inbox offers a promo code for Madewell. When you wear your dress, tell your friends about Madewell. See how many people look it up. Notice how your words have buying power. Hide the shoes you bought this month. Let money carry the weight of guilt. Watch how your desire for beauty overpowers your guilt. Or you think it will. Watch your efforts to heal yourself with wanting.

Don’t talk about our consumer-driven culture, but hush. Hear your own thoughts. Walk the dog and think about your yard. Want the flowerbeds. Let the desire for a garden consume you. Want land. Want to be a farmer. Unload the dishwasher. Want dishes that match. Want to get more of the good coffee. Want a better coffee maker. Want sugar. Want to taste sweet all day long. Want to be healed.

Write a blog post. Want to be understood. Check back in ten minutes. Did anyone care? Is your platform growing? Think hard now. How can you make your platform grow so you can know that your words matter? Want the gift of powerful words. Want power. Want to have something to offer. Want to be known. How much do you want to be known? How often are you thinking about being known? You don’t know the answer to this until you’ve asked to see it. You literally must be healed of it.

What consumes you? If out of the heart the mouth speaks, what do you talk about? It’s okay.  You can’t resist the things you don’t know you’re thinking. My life is built on nothing less than what I buy and what I sell. Even now, I am selling. 

When I came home from Haiti, I spent a few days to really know it. Every wandering of my mind was a want, and every want led to another want. There’s nothing wrong with the wanting, right? God made the beauty. He made the flowers, my voice. But spend a day and realize what’s woven into the wanting. Realize the POWER. Realize the self-soothing and the scheming. Realize how even when you prop your feet, your mind is consumed.

Hear the wanting around you. See the lonely-hearted. See your own lonely heart. Want for friends. Want for community. Go to church and want them to make it better. Look at the bulletin. What do they have for sale? What will their Women’s Ministry offer you? Do you buy it? Is this our economy?

My husband stopped drinking alcohol, but let me suggest that we’re all addicted. This is our culture. I say start your own revolution because our culture has given definition to American church. It’s the grain of our wood and the swift of our current. The American Church is caught in the undercurrent of consumption, and it’s not just consumption. This consumption, the buying and selling, has become our own slavery. Slavery, where children work for the shirt on your back? Yes that and also slavery, where upstanding ministers have to package faith and sell it at a good price so they can keep food on their own tables. It’s in the letters our missionaries send home so you’ll keep sending checks, when so often many of them don’t even know what they believe any more. How do we deal with suffering when the fruit of what we’ve bought lands us in despair and hopelessness?

Look around you. Do you see the plague? Do you see the paralysis, despair, and hopelessness?

Watch the dear ones around you walk away. Watch them walk away wanting something that sustains. What they had been calling the church is not what sustains. What do you really want?

Tell me. Do birds sing anymore? Is the peace in your heart so gone that you can’t hear them sing? Where is your silence with God?

Decide now. Spend this weekend. See for yourself what consumes you. What do you want? Will you ever be satisfied in the one that you call god?

Hear the wanting. This is not a drill. 

After you know what it is you really want, come back Monday so we can talk about what to do next. Also pray. I know the rumblings, the beginnings of a revolution, but I don’t know how to finish one. All I know is eyes on Jesus. All I know is that we’re to reassemble out from under a syncretized faith. Let us not forsake this assembly.

About me


When There’s a Lion in Your Yard
November 18, 2016
What do you taste?
November 08, 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
A Mud Stories Podcast on Sex, Shame, Unforgiveness, and the Church
August 06, 2015
Church couldn’t help me with it anymore.
August 03, 2015
Be the child, then revolution.
June 02, 2014


Reply May 16, 2014

Preach it, Amber! It has taken me well over 30 years to exalt God over my wants and my stuff - and it's not that I've stopped wanting, just that I finally saw Jesus as better. For so long I bought the packaged Jesus that was a nice addition, but didn't have a clue how He alone could be better than The Dream. It breaks my heart to know that there are still so many around me who feel the same, and I can't make them see it.

Gina @ Real Life Titus Two
Reply May 16, 2014

Thank you for this. Yes. It is my heart. A constant battle with the flesh. To use what I have been given for the glory of God and hold on to it very loosely...and not allow it to own me. Constant distraction from the world, the flesh, and the devil. I loved this post! Very convicting! This last couple of years have been years of huge loss, and only until we experienced the loss of some things we treasured did I realize that much of my joy had been found in the gifts that God had given me...even the ministry He had given us the privilege of being a part of for 20 years...and not in God alone. finding joy and our treasure in God alone is a process that I will be in for the rest of my life, but I have felt it most intensely this last two years. My heart hurts, but it rejoices with a new found joy in God. Yet...there is still the battle.

Christie Purifoy
Reply May 16, 2014

This is so powerful. So true. The words themselves and the telling of them. Thank you.

Bethany Bassett
Reply May 16, 2014

This post left me breathless, aching to jump on ahead to the What Next? while knowing that addiction to want is not so easily hurdled. I'm with you on the revolution train, just so you know. Thank you for writing this and for being open to whatever comes next.

Sarah Bessey
Reply May 16, 2014

Something's brewing. This has the backbeat of the Tennessee Two behind Johnny Cash.

    Reply May 16, 2014

    This is the best comment ever.

Reply May 16, 2014

I'm staying tuned for what's next. Whew!

Reply May 16, 2014

You've reminded me of how Jesus healed Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). When the blind man, "throwing his cloak aside," jumped up and came to Jesus, Jesus asked him a question similar to what you're asking: What do you want? And Bartimaeus' answer: I want to see. So when we throw our cloaks aside and bring our true hunger-desires out from hiding, I hope our answer to Christ's question to us is that same "Rabbi, I want to see!" And then whatever comes next after the healing, after clear vision is bestowed, whatever we do with the truth we see, then that will be what real church is, what real church does.

    Kelly Sauer
    Reply May 16, 2014

    Yes. Yes, yes yes. Because in letting ourselves "want," we awaken our true desire, the one always and only fulfilled in Him who made us to want in the first place.

Alysa Bajenaru
Reply May 16, 2014

This is exactly where I am right now. I don't know the answers. I don't know where to go from here. But I'm listening.

Reply May 16, 2014

Um....WOW! Am going to have to read this several more times in order to soak all that in. My heart has been a battle ground just this morning....NOT pretty!

Erika Morrison
Reply May 16, 2014

i'm always leaning forward to listen when you're talking, o prophetess.

Reply May 16, 2014

Oh girl, you're in my passion field now. Preach it!

Lori Harris
Reply May 16, 2014

I live the wanting but I'm breaking.
I'm listening...

Diana Trautwein
Reply May 16, 2014

Wowza. Yes. The wanting - and what do we truly want? So often -- too often -- it is "Jesus, and . . . " Not sure I can drop the and, actually. But I'm open to wanting to want to drop it.

B. C.
Reply May 16, 2014

Yes. I need to put this prayer back to my #1 spot.. Early morning. Mid day. Mid afternoon. And nightly. Jesus, I need you!

Litany of Humility

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, O Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Tara Porter-Livesay
Reply May 16, 2014

here. reading. praying. thanks for writing, Amber.

Donna C
Reply May 16, 2014

Wow. You just... words fail me.
Reading, thinking, wondering...

Reply May 17, 2014

Like so many have said, I'm listening,and thinking, wondering what it is I really want, wondering if Jesus is really enough, asking why there is still a deep emptiness inside me after so many years of seeking, and hoping that I can turn my back on the stuff that doesn't matter.

Robin Dance
Reply May 19, 2014

"You can’t resist the things you don’t know you’re thinking."

Hearing the wanting is a hard thing. Which is why it's a must-thing.

miss you.

Reply May 19, 2014

I'm listening Amber. I walked through this within myself about five years ago and where it lead me and what I learned were down-right terrifying at times and where I am now is far and away the farthest place I ever thought I'd ever find myself, raised as I was, a good girl, a good conservative evangelical girl raised in a good Gothard driven home; I wandered on in to a big old honkin' non-denom church later, beautiful, big, amazing worship and preaching and all and one day I stood in a crowd of thousands, singing their hearts out, me and my empty words and I cried for the emptiness and the loss and the God I thought I couldn't find...all my teen angst years and my twenties I carried Pakistan with me, my 'missions trip' that commissioned me into a world-wide church I hadn't the language or tools to carry back with me and yet I felt its call for years. And where I am now. It's a narrow way. A harrowing way. All this to say, I'm listening to your heart and praying as you walk forth. xoxo

layla bb solms
Reply May 20, 2014

ouch! oh, this post makes me want to run and hide AND yell at the top of my lungs and fling wide my closet doors and the boxes under the bed, and the receipts in my dresser drawers. oh no. oh no. YIKES. AND OUCH. you are right. these words are true. I need some help.

Ashley Larkin @ Draw Near
Reply May 20, 2014

Such big amens and a good portion of ouch. Thank you, Amber. I'm listening.

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