Author Interview: Amber Robinson (Mercy Rising)

I recently chatted with Amber Robinson, who wrote the inspirational Mercy Rising, which is about ways to serve others in Christ's love.  To read a summary and my review of Mercy Rising, click here.  If you've ever thought about the injustices of the world and said to yourself, "It's not that I don't care, I just don't know what to do," then read this interview to discover ways to help others.  Mercy Rising would be a great choice for a book club or a Bible study. 

What inspired you to write Mercy Rising?

My girlfriends and I started having conversations along the theme of "What now?", when it came to justice issues. It seemed like most conversations about justice were geared to children, students, men, or those who worked for non-profits. What could we do in the midst of our lives at home, in our workplace, or with our family and friends? Was this even possible? I set to find out and was disappointed in the resources out there for my demographic. A year later, I felt convinced through some wild circumstances that I needed to gather this research I was doing for myself and my friends into a resource that would help other women also.

You started serving others in the middle of living with a chronic illness. You had plenty of reasons not to give, but gave anyway. Can you tell us a little about that decision?

One word that would describe that choice was fear. I was completely afraid that if I did "one more thing" my health would collapse as I was barely making it. Living with chronic illness, just going to the grocery store was extremely difficult. But there is a real hazard having your own life circumstances loom so large in front of you is that if you aren't serving your selfishness begins to expand as well. I became convinced that there are no "escape hatches" with the promises of God. We all need to find ways to serve. We don't get an exemption with our "special circumstances". Sometimes we just need to be more creative to find ways to serve in those circumstances, for me that was being sick.

I have story after story of amazing days where God has added time, energy, and resources back to me in abundance when I offered the very little I had to kingdom work. It's all worth it.

What are some simple things a busy woman can do for others?

This may sound odd, but I feel that most important thing is to give the genuine kindness that is missing from our daily interactions with each other. Taking initiative in conversation to ask someone else about themselves and being willing to listen to anyone, especially those overlooked or on the fringes of our "crowd" is the most needed thing I see today.

Other simple things are:

  1. Change our internet search engine to

  2. Buy local to stop funding items bought in sweatshops.

  3. When we do buy products from chain stores to check our brands.

  4. Sponsor a Compassion International Child.

  5. Be brave enough to keep learning about the needs in the world around us - even when we feel burnt out.
What do you say to people who tell you that they want to help but don't know where to start?

One of the women I interviewed for Mercy Rising runs a medical clinic. She told me a story about a time when she was an ER nurse and had been in surgery for 16 hours. When the doctors left the room it looked like a bloody war zone. The nurses had to clean up the area before they left and the other nurse said to her, "Pick a corner and work your way out."

That's how I feel about the problems that are "too big for us". I often refer to myself as a reluctant optimist. I feel like that nurse reluctant to know where to start, but optimistic that we can do one thing to help. In the book I give guidelines and resources how to connect with one thing that energizes you and to find others to join you.

What's next for you?

Right now I am leading justice events at colleges, churches, and social groups on the Mercy Rising book tour. I am teaching through interactive events how to creatively meet the needs of those around us.

Thank you for your time, Ms. Robinson, and for writing such a great resource for women in today's world.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome interview.
    Amazing cover.
    Great tips.
    I like the line were she says, we don't get an exemption.


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