This morning, as I sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast, six doves were feeding upon seeds and berries and whatever else they find under the Anacua tree. There were two White-Winged doves, two Mourning doves, and two Inca doves. They gently bobbled around under the tree holding close to their mate, but all within a few feet of one another. They looked so sweet and peaceful there. And they are peaceful. They can be near other types of birds, even a squirrel, and not be frightened as long as all the animal kingdom nearby remains calm and peaceful with one another. They made me wish our world were like they are… to accept others no matter what shape, color, mental ability, to be peaceful with each other, to care about one another.
The dove is a beautiful bird, no matter which kind it may be.
I thought of the dove that we, as Christians, know to be the Holy Spirit. Knowing that the Holy Spirit lives within me and watching these little birds made me sense His presence, His peace, and His love. The Holy Spirit comes to live in any of us if and when we accept Jesus Christ as our LORD and Savior, repent of our own sins, know that He is the Resurrection and the Life. No matter what we look like or what our mental aptitude is, the Holy Spirit will descend upon us and live in us.
In the Hebrew Bible, doves or young pigeons are acceptable burnt offerings for those who cannot afford a more expensive animal. In the book of Genesis, Noah sent out a dove after the great flood to determine how far the floodwaters had receded. “Dove” is also a term of endearment in several books of the Bible, such as the Song of Songs. In Hebrew, Jonah (יוֹנָה) means dove.
Jesus’ parents sacrificed doves on his behalf after his circumcision: Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the LORD”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:22-24
Later, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus at His baptism like a dove, (When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. Matthew 3:16), and subsequently the “peace dove” became a common Christian symbol of the Holy Spirit.
Father God, I see these beautiful creatures of Yours and know that You have placed them in my yard for me to see their beauty, their uniqueness, their calm ways. You remind me of the peace that You are for You sent Your Son to this earth as the Prince of Peace to reign in our hearts forever, if only we would allow Him. Your ways are beautiful and I am so very grateful that I am Your child. You have given me the Holy Spirit and I am blessed. By Him, I have peace and a calmness of soul when I allow Him to be in control. May the world stay at bay from my heart for I want the gentleness of Your Dove to keep me, the calmness of Your Spirit to soothe me, the peace of Your Prince to rule in my heart and mind and body and soul. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Photo of 2 Mourning doves by Dolores Freeman @ http://images6.fanpop.com/image/photos/32900000/Doves-doves-32938472-2429-1619.jpg
Photo of 2 Inca doves by Lee Daniels/Wild Bird Trust @ https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=327015844100269&set=o.197215716988240&type=1&theater
Photo of 2 White-Winged doves on Cactus: SearchNetMedia @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/searchnetmedia/3734647793/
Photo of white dove @ Crosswalk.com @ http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/dr-ray-pritchard/water-wine-wind-fire-11616813.html