The Wrestle: Poems of Divine Disappointment and Discovery (Paperback)

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"...things don't work out like you wished. Like you hoped for. Like you prayed for. Crisis comes. Trauma visits. And you find yourself lost for words and invited to discover God in a new kind of way."

This collection of poems explore the life-giving and often painful experience of wrestling with God, religion and one's place in the world. David Tensen draws from empathetic experience through burnout, bankruptcy and belief; wrapping words around experiences some have described as healing psalms of lament and wonder.

Whether you are a lover of poetry or not, The Wrestle offers hopeful words to hearts desperate to rediscover God and themselves - all the while, giving courage to voices lost in the midst of life's suffering. Available in Paperback, eBook and Audiobook narrated by best-selling author of The Shack, Wm. Paul Young.


I found you


the 'why'

Far from

the 'why not'

Worlds from

the 'why me'

You held a space for me

beyond answers

to questions

my pain had

as if you knew

information was





or resolve

or fix

my suffering.


you agreed to wrestle

through many nights.

Never letting go.

Always with me

just like you promised.

Refusing to surrender,

I eventually realised

that wrestling with God

was not a crime.

That I was, in fact,

being held.

Being healed.

Being transformed by finding

you beyond answers.

Being blessed

by holding on to you

in my doubt and frustration

and never letting go.

And you never let go.

And you overcame me in the end.

And we both won.

(Title Piece. Pg. 34)


"A poet for these times, David Tensen articulates deeply the spectrum of my own personal thoughts, emotions, losses and issues. These words whisper transcendent rumors hidden in the viscera of humanity, lyrics of longing to be gratefully shared."

Wm. Paul Young - Author of The Shack

"David's words flow from his own experience and penetrate deeply, causing one to stop, listen and reflect. His words both uncover pain and bring healing, and at the same time, enable us to move one step forward or further on our journey."

James Condon - Commissioner Emeritus, Salvation Army, Australia

"Both the Jewish and Christian traditions have forever prayed their deepest heart-cries as poetry and their prophets offered us words when we only had groans. This is how I experience David Tensen. He's given us a prophetic Psalter apropos for these swirling times--a warm fire and bright light."

Bradley Jersak - Author of A More Christlike God

"Raw. Authentic. Clever. As I read "The Wrestle," I realised the reflections of what I thought was David's life turned out to be my own. A great companion for those looking to find their true self."

James Thompson - Compassion International. Australia

"When I first heard David's poem, 'Oh God', I knew two things: I desperately needed more, and I really wanted to be friends with this guy. David's poetry is honest and hopeful, fierce and fragile. Thank You, God, for David's poetry and friendship."

Steve Austin - Author of Catching Your Breath

Product Details
ISBN: 9780648989325
ISBN-10: 0648989321
Publisher: St Macrina Press
Publication Date: October 19th, 2020
Pages: 154
Language: English