The Waiting Under the Plane-tree

In the early morning, a girl leaned against the door frame, looking helplessly ahead. Under the plane-tree on the roadside stood a woman who is the girl’s mother. She, looking worried, had her back to the girl, with a small baggage at her feet. The girl gazed at her mother’s back with reluctance, lost in her thought. In the afternoon before, the village cadre took two policemen to the girl’s house to get some information about her mother’s belief in God; fortunately, her mother wasn’t at home so that she escaped the disaster. In order to flee from the arrest by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), her mother had to leave for another area. When the girl was thinking about this, a bus came with a honk. Her mother flagged down the bus, and then looked back at her meaningfully. Looking at her mother’s lingering and worried eyes, the girl was desperate to say: “Mom, please don’t go.” But she knew that her mother would be arrested if she continued to stay at home. The girl didn’t want her mother to leave, and she particularly didn’t want her mother to be arrested and persecuted by CCP, so she could only choke back her tears and swallow back the words; she knew that her mother wanted her to be strong and take care of herself. At that moment, the bus slowly stopped; her mother, managing to overcome the reluctance in heart, picked up her baggage and got on the bus determinedly. When the girl watched the bus gradually disappearing from view, her eyes moistened. Thinking that her mother could no longer accompany her, she felt empty in her heart, the tears flowing uncontrollably.

No word had come from the girl’s mother since she left; the girl didn’t know whether her mother lived well, whether she was safe, or whether she had money. The girl recalled that she once had a happy family. Her father was hard-working and her mother was virtuous; they loved each other and they were a model couple in the village. Her father had originally been fine with her mother’s belief in God, but after hearing the rumors and slander spread by the CCP government, he not only began to strongly oppose her mother’s faith in God, but mobilized their relatives to prevent her mother from believing in God; since then, the caring family no longer existed and they always quarreled over her mother’s belief in God. After her mother’s departure, the family broke apart. Thinking of this, the girl felt a heartrending pain, with tears silently rolling down her cheeks.

The girl was worried about and missed her mother while learning to adapt to the life without her mother. It is known that a child who has a mom is like a gem. In earlier times, when her mother was at home, she did all the housework and particularly cared for the girl. But her mother was no longer at home and her father was busy with his work, so naturally the girl had to do the housework, such as buying groceries, cooking, cleaning the floor, and washing the clothes, and so on. Children the same age as her were playing freely, while she had to do the housework; she felt discouraged and lonely but she could only bear it in silence.

Without her mother’s company, no one shared her happiness and sadness, success and failure in her growth, which made her feel extremely lonely. Especially on Spring Festival when every house was nicely decorated and every household was having a family party, the girl recalled: Normally at this time of the year, mom would have got the house all shipshape and made a hearty meal on New Year’s Eve. All three of our family would sit around, chatting and laughing. How happy we were! But this year, without mom, the house is somewhat untidy, the meal is rather simple, and dad is uncomfortably silent. The joyful reunions of other families made the girl’s home seem to be more quiet, and the girl missed her mother even more; behind the scenes, she had shed countless tears. While missing her mother, the girl couldn’t help feeling some resentment: We are created by God; it is the law of heaven and earth that we believe in God and worship Him. Why does believing in God become a huge sin under the CCP’s rule? Why does the CCP government persecute Christians? Why does it persecute my mother so much that she can’t return home and I lose my mother?

tree

At night, the girl came beneath the plane-tree on the roadside; the road was extremely silent and the plane-tree was already bare. The girl looked at the end of the road, expecting her mother to appear in the next moment, yet her expectation came to nothing; her mother didn’t return home that year, and the girl thought that perhaps her mother would come back next year.

Year after year, the leaves on the plane-tree by the road grew and fell again and again. Seasons changed, but what didn’t change was the girl’s waiting. Finally, on a normal day, her mother came back. Looking at her mother’s both familiar and strange, darker and thinner face, the girl excitedly said: “Mom!” Her mother smiled and nodded, with eyes full of tears, and the girl threw herself into the arms of her mother. Her mother looked at the girl lovingly and asked her solicitously how she lived those years. While asking, she took a white down jacket from a bag and put it on the girl; the girl knew that her mother must have been concerned about her those years.

Later, from the revelation of God’s words and brothers and sisters’ fellowship, the girl had finally resolved the confusion buried inside her heart. God’s words say: “For thousands of years this has been the land of filth, it is unbearably dirty, misery abounds, ghosts roam its every corner, tricking and deceiving, making groundless accusations, being ruthless and vicious, trampling this ghost town and leaving it littered with dead bodies; the stench of decay covers the land and pervades the air, and it is heavily guarded. Who can see the world beyond the skies? The devil tightly trusses all of man’s body, it puts out both his eyes, and seals his lips firmly shut. The king of devils has rampaged for several thousand years, right up until today, when it still keeps a close watch on the ghost town, as if it were an impenetrable palace of demons; this pack of watchdogs, meanwhile, stare with glaring eyes, deeply fearful that God will catch them unawares and wipe them all out, leaving them without a place of peace and happiness. How could the people of a ghost town such as this have ever seen God? Have they ever enjoyed the dearness and loveliness of God? What appreciation have they of the matters of the human world? Who of them can understand God’s eager will? Small wonder, then, that God incarnate remains completely hidden: In a dark society such as this, where the demons are merciless and inhumane, how could the king of devils, who kills people in the blink of an eye, tolerate the existence of a God who is lovely, kind, and also holy? How could it applaud and cheer the arrival of God? … Forefathers of the ancient? Beloved leaders? They all oppose God! Their meddling has left all beneath heaven in a state of darkness and chaos! Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin!

The girl came to understand: China is an atheist nation; Christians have been persecuted and slaughtered throughout history. Especially ever since the CCP came to power, in order to turn China into a godless land and achieve its wild ambition of ruling China forever, it has labeled Christianity as an evil cult and the Bible an evil book, and has been fanatically captured and persecuted Christians, causing countless Christians to be imprisoned, maimed or killed. The CCP is the satanic demon that resists God and hates God. The girl recalled that it was just because of hearing the rumors and slander spread by the CCP government that her father tried all sorts of ways to stop her mother from believing in God, bringing frequent quarrels to this family. Due to the seizure by the police, her mother uprooted herself, and the girl lost her mother’s company and care in her growth, which left a permanent wound in her heart. The girl knew that all this was caused by the CCP.

Even though the girl endured some hardships and rumors, she became more independent and strong than others of the same age; she could run the house by herself and was no longer spoiled or lazy as before; in such an exceptional circumstance, she has grown mature. Having experienced this, she could better understand the hardships of God’s work, and had some discernment about the evil essence of the CCP government. Now, every time the CCP government wantonly arrests Christians, the girl’s mother would leave home to hide herself, and the girl would keep waiting under the plane-tree silently …

By Zhang Dan, China

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