The Signal and the Strength: A Poem Inspired by Acts 1-2

Before the ends of the earth, there was an end.
Before the Spirit came, the Savior left.
And they waited —
not looking at the sky
for the return of what was past,
but devoting themselves to prayer
for the revealing of what was promised.
Do not look for times and dates,
they were told. You are not waiting for knowledge —
as though like gods to watch
events unfold before they happen.
You are waiting for a signal,
the pistol fire to shout “Go!
Be my witnesses!”
You are waiting for the spark
of strength that will jolt your feet into action.
You are waiting — taut, focused,
knee bent and eyes fixed ahead —
so that when the moment comes,
you will be ready to run.
So do not run ahead
and do not run away.
Before the sound, there is a silence.
Before the coming, there is a leaving —
and in-between a waiting,
unseen and unseeing,
in a stale silent room.
But it is in this room that everything begins.
And you will witness here first —
then, as the walls crumble
and the fire spreads ever outward,
you will run and not grow weary
till the distant islands hear
the roar that began as a still small voice
in a lonely upper room.
So do not look for times and dates,
but for the signal and the strength,
so that: when the moment comes,
you will be ready — to run.

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash.

Esther Greenfield

Esther Anne Greenfield is a poet, missionary, third-culture kid, and mother. She learned to walk and write poetry in East Africa, and she fell in love with her husband on a summer internship in West Africa. Today they live in North Africa, with the goal of sharing God's Word with least-reached people. Esther's writings are inspired by her life in Africa and her love for Jesus. She blogs at

See All Posts by Esther Greenfield

Related Content

Make an Impact by Praying Now