Monday, March 23, 2009

New Creation

The Tree of Life, pictured on the right, is a sculpture made entirely of decommissioned weapons. It is on display in the British Museum.

I first heard about the tree when I was listening to N. T. Wright's speech from InterVarsity's Following Christ Conference. Wright was talking, as he so often does, about Christians acting in ways that exhibit God's creative power in the world.

I finally got around to looking up the picture, and I was truly amazed. Both the title and the sculpture are ingenious. Rather than deny that evil exists or avoid thinking about it, the artists have redeemed wicked and ugly things by making them into something beautiful.

I can't think of a more beautiful image of what human striving is all about. When we long passionately for justice, isn't our longing most fulfilled when that which is evil is stripped of its evil nature, and made into something new?

Without that hope, that one day all things will be renewed in this way, I honestly don't know what else would drive me. Words fail to describe how powerful this image is for me.


  1. I understand the point you are trying to make. But honestly, I didnt find the weaponry tree "pretty" at all. It looks nasty. It's not even green :(

  2. Yeah, I mean, I see your point. Yet there is honesty in the way it is presented. The weapons aren't "painted over," so to speak, which means the evil memories are not completely wiped out. The tree is still an emblem of humanity here and now, and so it speaks to how corrupt we still are. But it stands at the intersection point between sober judgment of our history and hope for our future. It is a first step toward new creation. It is not the end of our striving, but it is the beginning. It is beautiful, but in a way that still acknowledges the present life's pain. What do you think?


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