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The Journey To Be Born Again In His Garden   

 In the beginning, the earth was formless and empty, darkness.

In the city Jungle, cement skyscrapers rise from the ground,

No sunrise or sunset can be seen on the horizon.

The sky overhead is shaped by the edge of buildings.

My soul was trapped, couldn’t breathe, just like the cement.

 

Day 1: “Let there be light,” said He. And it came to be.

The world told me to stay put, as being stuck in the tar.

But my heart longed to breathe fresh air;

My legs longed to run free;

My mouth longed to shout in joy.

I wanted to see the bigger sky.

 

Day 2: “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear,” said He. And it came to be.

Farewell, my clans.

The wind of the Spirit uprooted and carried me to the new land.

Being transplanted in new soil, temperature, and climate,

I was shocked, adjusting, adapting, and assimilating.

 

“Let there be a horizon in the middle of the water in order to separate the water from sky,” said He. And it came to be.

Among the unfamiliar languages and cultures,

A park in the city became the vital oasis.

Paddling on the lake, drifting on the water,

Swinging like a baby in a cradle, calmed by softly singing Mother Nature.

Listen, the Creator’s whisper,

From the heavens and the earth.

My soul was stilled and quiet like a weaned child.

 

Day 3: “Let the land bring forth grass, the herb yield seed, and the fruit tree bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds,” said He. And it came to be.

Walking on the ancient Quaking Bog in Theodore Wirth Park, the floating boardwalk sustained by tiny sphagnum moss,

So little to be noticed, but so strong to hold your weight.

Biking the trail, bathed in the sun, caressed by the wind, canopied by overhanging trees,

My pores opened up like leaves, inhaled all the oxygen exhaling from the greens.

 

Day 4:”Let there be lights in the expanse of sky to separate the day from the night,” said He. And it came to be.

The sun and moon are the same,

From where I came from to where I stand.

A full moon symbolizes the reunion of family,

Always shining brighter in my far-away clan.

 

Day 5: “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds,” said He. And it came to be.

A tempest came, rousing big waves on the lake, shaking my boat, like an earthquake.

Who am I? What am I?

I heard the pounding waves shouting “Go back to your country,” indicting me for being an invasive plant.

Should I feel guilty for taking a little space among the native species?

Do I have a right to protest against the labeling?

Can I belong to this land?

I could not breathe. I hid. I longed for friends.

 

Day 6: “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over all the earth,” said He. And it came to be.

Sometimes, you need to travel far away, out of the echo chamber,

To listen to the sound you never heard,

To ask the questions you ignored,

To appreciate the ordinary days you took for granted.

Each man is but a breath.

Humans come and go, return to dust after death, just like plants.

So I was humbled, buried in my pride, died like a seed.

 

So God created men and bless them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it.” God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

Who am I? What am I?

Not a creator, but a created being.

Not being in the center of the universe, but being a divine workmanship with divine destiny.

The blind eyes of heart were opened and see:

My identity was created by God, just like any creature in the park.

However, I was not a plant, but a life with a soul.

He meets me where I am.

He chooses me and plants me in His Garden, just like in the beginning of the world.

And He plants me with the companions after all kinds,

So we benefit from the uniqueness of each other.

I breathe. I run. I sing.

I am who I am. I am what I’m meant to be.

 

“Rise up. Be bold,” said He. And it came to be.

The old has gone. The new has begun.

The sunbeam of His love falls on my full sail,

Being empowered by the wind of the Spirit,

I sail out with full confidence and hope,

In Him.

About Manling Chen

Manling was born and grew up in Taiwan. She came with her husband and 2-year-old son to New York, NY, at age 30 to fulfill her dream of studying in the graduate school. She received a black belt in Taekwendo at age 40 and has been applying the Bible truth and discipline learned in the martial art to fight in her faith as a spiritual warrior. She works with God to write and is currently a freelance reporter for a national Chinese newspaper and writer based in Minnesota. Much of her writing is in the areas of spiritual learning, Bible study, parenting, education, Sunday school, opinions, interviews, and people's stories, etc.

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2 comments

  1. So enjoyed! On my heart’s to do list is creating a discipleship study using the days of Creation. I believe the parallels are strong and your piece has re-nudged me :). Thank you and have a blessed day, sister!

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