Two Trees

Here’s my C.S. Lewis quote for the day:

Human beings are not [separate]. They look separate because you see them walking about separately. But then, we are so made that we can see only the present moment. If we could see the past, then of course it would look different….

If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it, it would not look like a lot of separate things dotted about. It would look like one single growing thing–rather like a very complicated tree…

Once again, I thought this occurred to me on my own. Then I went and picked up my copy of Mere Christianity and realized that Lewis wrote about it long before I ever thought of it. Come to think of it, I’m sure read it there first, then thought that it was my idea. Nothing new under the sun.

It’s true, though. There are in fact two trees growing around us today. One of them is rotting. The other has healing in its leaves.

Two humanities growing side by side, even intertwining, like two vines growing together. At times they seem like the same tree. But they are very different from one another. One produces death and one produces life. Sounds like a story we learned once, doesn’t it?

If we could interview the leaves of these trees and ask them, “How do you make your fruit?” They would reply that they don’t know. They don’t have a method. There are no classes that teach them how to be what they are. All they do is just remain in the vine. Just being a part of their respective trees makes them do what they do.

Remain in me, and you will bear much fruit.

I don’t know for sure what it looks like to remain in Him. But in practical terms, I’ve got a notion that it has to do with being in the Church. I don’t mean that just being there finishes the job. There’s more to it. There’s a conscious practice of attending to His presence in our lives. But even that works better when surrounded by others of the same stock. Remaining in Him must have something to do with making the Church your home. It is Him.

I need the Church.


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2 Responses to “Two Trees”

  1. J. Samuel Thomas Says:

    “…One produces death and one produces life. Sounds like a story we learned once, doesn’t it?”

    To me it’s all wrapped up in Gods relationship to mankind.

    One kind of relationship to Him involves mankinds supposed capability of pleasing God and being in right relationship with Him via the things that he does (or doesn’t do).

    The other kind of relationship, the only one that God offers to mankind, is one where God wants man to see His nature for what it is:


    This He illustrated through what we now understand to be the reconciling work of Jesus Christ.

    Lot’s of people get “saved” and have all kinds of bible knowledge, but still fail to grasp God for who He is.

    The tree that is rotting is the tree that trusts in it’s “self sufficiency”.

    It is a tree in and of darkness,a mere shadow of the One that is true and living.

  2. Jerry Says:

    Neil, I’m loving this blog. I love the way you love the Lord. It makes my love for Him grow stronger, and He gets bigger. Theres a great song for this latest blog, it’s called “even close” by Charlie Dodrill. I like what you say “If you could see humanity spread out in time, as God sees it,……it would look like one single growing thing_rather like a complicated tree.” Seeing from the Fathers perspective sure does enlighten the understanding. I’m just glad to be part of the New Man.
    I love the comments the brothers and sisters make.

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