Between Two Trees: Our Transformation from Death to Life, by Shane J. Wood
JANUARY 26, 2019
The bible ends where it begins: in a garden, God with humanity, enjoying the shade of the tree of life.
The problem is: life isn’t lived under Eden’s tree of life or beneath the healing leaves of the tree in the New Jerusalem. Life is lived between these two trees. And between these two trees, life is hard.
Between these two trees, humanity wrestles with God, embracing and marring His image. Between these two trees, our lives are woven into a tapestry of struggle, loneliness, uncertainty, and hopelessness. Murder is confused with heroism, oppression is labeled peace, gentleness disparaged, restraint mocked, love twisted. The poor are maligned while the rich are adored. The prophets are silenced while the profane are revered. The saints are assailed while the adulterous are esteemed. Kids are a commodity, women are property, and race is justification for abject savagery.
Between these two trees, despair is humanity’s native tongue and agony its anthem.
Questions abound, yet answers are few: God where are you? Do you still care? Why can’t I see you? Why can’t I hear you? Why can’t I feel you? Why won’t you answer me? Are you even listening? Are you even there?
Hope for a New Beginning
Between these two trees, societies are immersed in conflict, communities enticed with compromise, and churches desperate for a revelation. A revelation bold enough to confront their suffering and rebellion with grace and rebuke. A revelation powerful enough to fortify their faith in times of peril and prosperity. A revelation honest enough to admit that, between these two trees, life is hard.
And yet a message bold enough to proclaim that, between these two trees, there is hope.
Hope for the faithful. Hope for the prodigal. Hope for those who are mourning; hope for those who are wandering; hope for those who are suffering, running, confused, lonely, in pain, in crisis, impatient, or simply in process. Hope for a new beginning. Hope for a new ending. Hope for a story of transformation that confronts this life between two trees.
Embracing the True Tree of Life
Written as part autobiography and part theology, Between Two Trees wrestles with the realities of racism, sexual abuse, the problem of pain, forgiving the greatest enemies in our stories, and finding a God desperately in pursuit of His fallen creation. A creation wrested from His embrace with the taste of forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden—a problem not fully appreciated and rarely understood.
Between Two Trees reveals the problem of Eden is much worse than first thought, but the solution much better than ever imagined. For in the tragedy of Eden “humanity became one-flesh-with-Death,” a union producing struggle, strife, division, and despair. Yet, God was not content to end the story there. Instead, He becomes flesh, enters into our union with Death, and calls us to embrace hope, love, and life at the true tree of life: the cross of Calvary.
Between Two Trees challenges us to walk through our own Garden of Gethsemane on a path of transformation from Death to Life—on a path to union with God—and enhances our view of salvation, time, tragedy, works, sex, God, and even ourselves.
The book’s journey ends under the shade of the tree of life in the New Jerusalem with God’s unfinished creation now complete. Yes, Eden, but more importantly, you.
The unfinished creation in you. In me. In us all.