↑Poem: Lanterns and Life

[Spring Festival Xi’an China 2005]

A friend wrote the following poem, and it touched both Vivian and myself so we decided to post it here. It reminded me of a piece I wrote a long time ago, which you can also read (click here).


Lanterns and Life, in the Spring and Beyond

By Joanna W, February 26, 2014


  • Red Chinese New Year lanterns sway in the wind on naked trees. Once covered in leaves and blossoms,
  • the branches are now decorated by mortal man to symbolize prosperity, blessing, and wealth.


  • Seasons change, leaves and blossoms come and go in due time, just as the Father planned it.


  • For while blossoms wilt and die, and leaves turn brown and fall off, the soil is rich and the roots
  • pour nutrients to live by into the dry, dismal looking soil.


  • Leaves on our most prized plants turn yellow, then brown and we watch on with dismay, feeling hopelessly helpless,
  • yet, has He not promised life?
  • Our fears and dismay at the sight of sickness and death blind us
  • from the promise of a better time.
  • For isn’t it only natural?
  • While, to the naked eye, it looks like the tree has given up life itself,
  • it’s really just biding its time.
  • Forsaking daily extravagance, it stockpiles resources so that, at the appropriate time, it might burst forth with life and blossom–
  • shouting messages of life and hope.


  • Where is our decoration then?
  • The once ornate lanterns look like a gaudy reminder that man’s way pales in comparison
  • to the brilliance of an eternal spring to come.


  • Winds may come and blow the lanterns about, but the tree is not uprooted.


  • Rains come down and leave a pathetic trail of red dye and soggy paper,
  • melted over silk tassel, but still, the tree remains.


  • Are not we, the church, the tree?


[Fengjinghu Lantern Festival–Xiamen 2015. The sign below the globe calls Xiamen a “dazzling pearl on the bay.”]

[Fengjinghu Lantern Festival–Xiamen 2015]


8xm Fengjinghu Lanterns_2-15_59j8

[Fengjinghu Lantern Festival–Xiamen 2015]

[Fengjinghu Lantern Festival–Xiamen 2015]



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