From chapter seven of The Ministers in the Lord’s Recovery – Genuine Ministers of the New Covenant
The following hymns capture the sentiments and aspirations of these precious saints in the Lord’s recovery who took the narrow way of death and resurrection to minister life to others for the growth and building up of the church.
When Sister Barber went to China by faith the second time in the early twentieth century, she “made a firm decision” in the Lord not to travel but to “bury” herself in a small town named Pagoda, where she remained until her death in 1929, “praying daily and ministering to those whom the Lord brought to her.”58 The following hymn written by Sister Barber characterizes the intrinsic significance of her hidden yet fruitful and valuable life and service to the Lord as a pure seed sown and buried in the ground to bear abundant fruit, whom Brother Lee esteemed “as a seed of life” “sown in China by the Lord for His recovery.”59
- Buried? Yes, but it is seed
From which Continents may feed;
Millions yet may bless the day
When that seed was laid away.
- Buried! hidden! out of sight!
Dwelling in the deepest night;
Losing, underneath the sod,
Everything, except its God.
- Buried, unremember’d, lost
So thinks man: but all the cost
God has counted to display
Life abundant one glad day.
- Art thou buried? God’s pure seed
Doth thy heart in silence bleed?
Change thy sighing into song,
Thus alone can harvests come.60
This hymn proved to be autobiographical and prophetic: because our sister was willing to be sown in China as a seed of life, rich harvests of the divine life were reaped, and countless saints throughout the earth have fed on the riches of this life released through her. One such example was Brother Nee, who received from her immeasurable help concerning the constricted way of the cross and the genuine ministry of life. He was “a seed that grew out of her” and became “a great vessel for the recovery of the proper church life.”61
58 CWWL, 1978, vol. 2, p. 148
59 Watchman Nee: A Seer of the Divine Revelation, pp. 17, 73
60 James Reetzke, M. E. Barber, A Seed Sown in China (Chicago, IL: Chicago Bibles & Books, 2005), p. 148
61 Life-study of John, p. 314
© 2023, David Yoon. All rights reserved.