The deep black leaves of holly,
the stiff exclaiming pine—
Winter green
which pricks my fingers stickily, mysteriously.
Why, Lord of Life, this severest vestige
of earth’s warm life
left to us in winter?
Do you disapprove the raucous spring,
the rush of summer,
the soft greens growing where they will?
Does winter’s sluggish cold
demand the suitable demeanor
and show its rasping winter-life as warning?
No, Resurrection Lord, No!
It is to show the secret hardihood.
To those who have the gift of life
there is no law of season:
tough curls and rays of green
offer hymns of praise to God
Who never leaves us desolate.

Teng Hsiao-ping’s visit to America has focused attention upon the far-reaching changes taking place in China at this time. Visitors to China before 1978 could never have imagined that the changes of the past few months were possible. Less than two years ago a prominent Christian leader, after returning from China, wrote: “What of the future? One can assume that the leadership of China will hold to its present policy of self-reliance, declining all offers of aid and assistance from mission societies, Peace Corps volunteers, United Nations agencies, and other persons or groups bearing gifts and services. Chinese government representatives in Peking and foreign capitals politely declined offers of help at the time of the earthquake disaster in Tangshan in the summer of 1976. Liberated from a century of humiliating foreign incursions and dependence, the Chinese will not easily surrender their present self-sufficiency.”

The principle of self-sufficiency advocated by Mao Tse-tung has now been laid aside in favor of Teng Hsiao-ping’s drive to modernize China. Instead of struggling against the “Four Olds” of the Cultural Revolution ...

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