The Deep Down Things

Practices for Growing Hope in Times of Despair

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There's no escaping it: Everyone experiences seasons of pain and despair.
In 2019, when Amber Haines resigned from her position as church curate and walked out the church doors for the last time, she entered into her own season of pain and despair. That season taught her--and her husband, Seth Haines--that the journey toward hope starts with recognizing "the deep down things."

In The Deep Down Things, Amber and Seth point to a simple truth: Even in the darkest times, there are tangible signs of hope all around us. The authors demonstrate how tasting, touching, feeling, holding, and participating in these tangible acts of hope picks us up, builds our strength, and moves us into beauty, even in times of despair. They invite readers to participate with those signs of hope and thereby experience the divine love of God, even in the struggle of their everyday lives.

A lifeline for those who desperately need it, this book helps readers overcome despair, find hope, and spread that hope to an aching world.


A Letter to the Reader
1. Know the Hope of Saints
Seth: Eat the Flowers
Amber: The Gothic Middle
Practice: Pick a Patron Saint
2. Tell the Story
Seth: Choose Your Attachments
Amber: Body Talk
Practice: Create a Lifeline
3. Find God in the Stuff of Earth
Seth: Go to the River, the Trail, the Chapel
Amber: Eat the Crackers
Practice: Receive Communion
4. Create Signs
Seth: Cairnal People
Amber: Memorials Everywhere in Everyone
Practice: Build a Cairn
5. Practice Silence
Seth: Flee the World
Amber: Unresisting the Quiet
Practice: Engage Active Silence
6. Name the Knots
Seth: The Knots of a Father
Amber: On Practicing Holy Apathy
Practice: Name the Knots
7. Make Amends
Seth: The Thing about Reconciliation
Amber: Holy Shit
Practice: Repair What's Broken
8. Search for Epiphanies
Seth: Go to the Sacred Spaces
Amber: Under the Art of Monasteries
Practice: Visit a Sacred Space
9. Flip the Script
Seth: How Joy Subverts the War Machine
Amber: In Spite, Take Heart
Practice: Hold a Feast

The Authors

  1. Amber C. Haines
    © Kelly Sauer

    Amber C. Haines

    Amber C. Haines is the author of Wild in the Hollow: On Chasing Desire and Finding the Broken Way Home and The Mother Letters. She has experience speaking at conferences and events and lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, with her husband, Seth, and...

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  2. Seth Haines

    Seth Haines

    Seth Haines is the author of Coming Clean: A Story of Faith (winner of a Christianity Today Book Award of Merit) and The Book of Waking Up: Experiencing the Divine Love That Reorders Life. Together with Tsh Oxenreider, he cohosts the...

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