Peace among turmoil…is a state of mind we all attain to, at least a Believer. Since we are in the mist of shelter in place in our city and nation, I have begun to walk a mile and a half every morning in our neighborhood. Most of the time I am praying for each home or person I pass. And lifting up a long list of friends or family. It is actually very peaceful, in spite of what we are encountering all around us.
And, praise God, there is also something I hear several times as I walk—the beautiful peaceful cooing of some mourning doves. What a sound!! There are other not so pleasant sounds but this penetrates all the others. It actually soothes my mind and soul. Probably you have experienced it also. I will have to say, there is a very small finch, maybe 3 inches long, that begins to whistle its high-pitched melody as I approach its tree. It’s like it is singing just for me. I am amazed that such loud sounds come out of such a small bird. Must be all lungs!!
Normally doves fly and perch in our trees outback, but today this one pictured here decided to settle for a moment on the rail of our back porch. Fortunately, I had my phone next to me and I was able to take this picture. They are such a beautiful bird. No wonder God chose it for several purposes in Biblical history. By the way, one is now cooing outback. Must be a sign to keep writing this.
Doves in the Bible
Noah sent out a dove three times over the flooded earth. The first time, he flew back to the ark ‘empty-handed’. Second time he flew back with an olive leaf in its mouth giving evidence that the waters had receded. The third time the dove did not return indicating it was time for Noah and his family to disembark. Genesis 8. The dove became a symbol of God’s peace following judgment.
Doves were used as a sin offering in the Mosaic law. When Jesus’ day of purification came, Mary and Joseph took him to Jerusalem. A pair of turtle doves or young pigeons were used to offer as a sacrifice. Luke 2.22.
All four Gospels include the account of the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus in bodily form like a dove. Mt. 3.16; Mk. 1.10; Lk. 3.22; Jn. 1.32 This dove affirmed Jesus as the Messiah. Along with the voice of God the Father from the heavens, this account provides a clear picture of the triune God–Father, Son and Spirit.
A symbol of purity
Jesus spoke to the disciples when he was sending them out. He told them: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Mt. 10.16 NKJV). The dove is a symbol of purity and harmlessness. Today, when you observe them, experience them, this truth comes out in their demeanor. When they fly away, no sound is sweeter than that from their wings.
So, in spite of everything that’s going on around us, God continues to send his blessings of peace and calmness. We shouldn’t miss these opportunities to rejoice and worship. They are gifts to us in a fallen world. Make no mistake, he is speaking to us through his creation. The dove is simply one of many. And it just happens to be one of the more peaceful. Are you listening?