Elijah in You (Poem)

“But He wasn’t in the earthquake or fire” (1Kings 19)

It is at wits-end that God is there
but He is also there when tears fall
before you call, He has heard your heart
from the start, you’re never alone.
Sometimes like Elijah depressed and dejected
emotionally high yet fear has boldly infected
the soul with a broken heart inside
waiting for God to show up as you hide…
no, not fire, or earthquake He’s in
but His still small voice, He knows where you’ve been
you might feel weak and powerlessly alone
but find strength, He will come
He won’t leave you alone, 
Hold on, don’t you quit, or lose sight
See, here He comes with power and might
don’t lose fight, don’t believe the lie
the strength you now have, comes from on high. 
You don’t need to call down fire from above
you don’t need to have visions to receive His love
but faithfulness in spite of the place
His rescue comes in full as does His grace.   

Morning (a poem)


I was sitting at breakfast, 

my head full,

cotton and long forgotten dreams, 

stuffed to the seams… only showing in the dulling

sunlit morning.  

I pulled blankets of coffee 

down my throat, 

like snow has become 

              winter’s frozen alabaster coat…

Squeezing five more minutes 

out of repine and of rest…

I think I like my evenings the best. 

I burned my mouth a time or two 

stewing over teeming cups, my coffee black

my words catching in my teeth…

it’s hard to find our way back (sometimes)

from the time we wished we’d cherished more.  

I always seem to find closed doors 

dragging my feet on this dirty floor 

i’m helplessly cold in fact. 

But with the sunlight, my composure 

and my fight 

breaks a resolution in my stubborn roots

scuffing my boots, I pull on the day 

and pray the evening 

                 she takes me back



The rising of the sea (a poem)

Give way to the rising of the sea
Grasping and hoping to finally break free
Throw a stone in the ocean
And sink beneath its tides
You’re so close to home
Where all the shadows hide.
Don’t close your eyes
Or turn away from this
Your heaven breaks the surface
and longing for first kiss
Give way, dear soul to the sea
And breathe free, breathe free.

I’m Looking for God

The pastor said God was everywhere
And so I’m looking for him.
They say he’s in the world today
But I’m not seein much of him
In how we treat each other
In how wars are fought
In how innocent blood is spilt
You see I’m looking for God
But I’m having doubt’s he’s here…

I went looking in a church too
To find out where he’d been
Talked to couple of folks there
Full of wind in their sails
But their anchors weren’t pulled
Going round in circles, it seems.
Is God here in this church
With crimson window panes
And creaking pews with people
In them who are equally creaking?
I’m not so sure…

I am looking for God
But the question is has he been looking for me?
Or am I just blind as a bat?
Am I reciting all the wrong jargon?
Am I wearing the wrong clothes…
No, God doesn’t care about that stuff,
Does he care for me?

Look, all I want to be is genuine
All I want to do is help and hope and love
And leap in places that faith will carry me…
I’m looking for God, have you seen him?
What’s he like? 
Will you please tell me? 

“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16

Chains (a poem)

I’m sometimes a rebel,

with fists in the air

Striking out at the world

That is seemingly set against me

(Perhaps it’s all in my head)…

I am some times meek

But very rarely

Too proud, too set in my ways

These days I’d rather 

Tell off a driver who just 

Cut me off, but he has no clue…

Ah but perhaps these seasons

These emotions, turning like turbulent weather

Will cast me down

Will grow a bitter root deep down within me…

Perhaps this…right here, right now

Is my wake up call

My siren’s song

The swan song waiting to be played

Perhaps, as the sun begins to wane

And set that with it these chains

will fall heavily to the floor

And never more will they hold

Me poor and wretched…


The question (a poem)


If you were to ask the old woman in the back pew
how long she has been here
sitting meekly, never slumping 
respectable and proper
she would look at you through tired
and filmy eyes.

Eyes, crow feet with extra toes
blue as seas of winter snow collected
in our backyards in January.

She would exhale deeply
like a summer breeze gently 
kissing juniper branches green and supple
as they bend and yield
to her affectionate wooings.
How subtle her movements
fragile even
yet it belies wisdom personified
beneath these brittle bones,
capturing decades of moments,
snap shots
mastered as well as the flaming

disasters on failure’s crushed dreams.

She would look at you,
warmly smile
and her answer,
beckoning as it may be,
will take another year 
to finally sink in…and then,
perhaps you will return again 
wiser and more sincere.

Finding Hope (A Poem)

Finding salvation and comfort…is that even possible?
In a world that seems so wrought with pain and sadness,
these half-timbered, dimly lit dwellings
plastered with the scabs of hurts and slings of words
how can hope spawn from such a place?
These tall escarpments seem too far,
and we, with reaches far too limited
how can hope ever stoop, low and bending
to such a place as this?

Yet, when the babe, cherubic and glorious
came to this fallen shambles of a place
we now, with arms extended
broken and needy
can embrace this light
beaming and radiant.

Hope?  Don’t speak of such a thing,
live it, experience it, vivid and streaked
with Theophonic glory…speak not
of falsities and half promises of this word!
Instead, with hearts extended
grooved and bending
no longer a barren land but
but rich, empirical
blazing in His glory!


A Note from God (A poem)


When the light is sucked from your eyes 

and terror is masked as hope disguised 

I will hold your hand and bring the day

I will hope when your earth gives way. 


When dreams become hollowed and cold

and you are left with nothing to hold

I will hold you within my loving arms 

I will keep you from fear and harm.


And if you falter and lose all sight

I will be there to shine my light

and ignite your faith with my grace 

so that my love you will embrace. 


I have never left you, I am here 

I will help and dry  your tears 

These nail scarred hands will guide you there

I am Your Savior I will always care!  

How Many Saviors? (A Poem)


How many Saviors does it take to save

A world hell bent on a fiery grave?

Sin-sick hearts and lonely souls

how many Saviors to make us whole?


How many Saviors will make us all free

without a cost, without a fee?

Is there a self-less Messiah around

who will love us, the lost and the found?


How many Saviors could love us that much

to redeem us from the certainly of death’s cold dark clutch?

Or die for our sins and claim our transgressions?

A God-man who hears our every confession. 


The answer is One, One Lord of the Light 

who redeems us and loves us and restores our dim sight

who comes as a babe and dies like a lamb

Resurrection is here, He is the Great I AM.


O Bethlehem (A Poem)


In Bethlehem, O Bethlehem

what sights you must have seen

with manger bed where sheep had fed

and yonder pastures green.

A Savior came, O Bethlehem

the One whom prophets foretold

yet most were blind, they could not find

The God-man soft, yet bold.

Yet Shepherds came, Oh Bethlehem

the unclean keepers of the sheep.

A song they heard, they spread the word

while Jesus was fast asleep.

O Bethlehem, O Bethlehem

His name is ever true!

To all who hear, He drives out fear

Salvation comes to you!

S.E. Strissel ’13’

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