My Friend the Dove

by Christine Sine

by June Friesen

My friend the dove found me when I was about twelve years old. It was actually a pair of doves that decided to build a nest on a branch in a pine tree on the path to our mailbox. I probably would not ever have discovered them except that one time I heard them fly away with their little sound they often made. I was not sure where they had flown from but I chose to quietly watch and soon one of them returned and I saw a nest. I then observed that there were eggs in the nest. A few weeks later there were little blind babies in the nest. I carefully watched these adult doves care for these little ones and then one day it happened the nest was empty. It was kind of a sad day but I was thankful for the opportunity I had to watch them grow. The other observation I made was how flimsy the nest was – and yet the babies did not fall out. 

So what made me think of doves at this time? The above photo was a ‘moment for me’ at the zoo last week. This dove so peacefully sat among people coming and going – preening his feathers and observing that yes, there were people walking by yet few stopped to pay any attention. Since it was also the weekend that we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the dove is often associated with the Holy Spirit my spirit was stirred. While at Pentecost the dove is not mentioned when the Spirit descended upon Jesus at His baptism it was in the form of a dove. 

Matthew 3: 15 But Jesus insisted. “Do it. God’s work, putting things right all these centuries, is coming together right now in this baptism.” So John did it. 16-17 The moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”

There is another story in the Scriptures that references a dove and that is the story of Noah and the ark.

Genesis 8:6-12 After forty days Noah opened the window that he had built into the ship.

7-9 He sent out a raven; it flew back and forth waiting for the floodwaters to dry up. Then he sent a dove to check on the flood conditions, but it couldn’t even find a place to perch—water still covered the Earth. Noah reached out and caught it, brought it back into the ship.

10-11 He waited seven more days and sent out the dove again. It came back in the evening with a freshly picked olive leaf in its beak. Noah knew that the flood was about finished.

12 He waited another seven days and sent the dove out a third time. This time it didn’t come back.

The dove needed enough security to be able to not only have a tree in which to rest and nest but it needed a food supply. Obviously when the dove did not return it then meant that there was ground that was now showing through the receding waters. If you watch and observe doves as I have the opportunity to do you will find that they like being on the ground. They rest in the grass, they peck around and scratch in the grass looking for nibbles of seeds, maybe some pieces of grass, little bugs etc. The one distinction that I have observed over the many years of my life is that the dove is indeed a bird of peacefulness. Even when they are surprised or fear danger they often times just gently fly away without a lot of noise. Sometimes they have a little chatter they make but not often. Today I choose to share with you a little message that I imagine a dove could bring to anyone of us from God.

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I see you are worrying deep within – 

And at times I can see it on your face as well – 

God in His wisdom desires that You place your complete trust in Him

As He knows everything – and He has a great and wonderful plan.

You see when He created my ancestors so long ago 

And placed them in the Garden of Eden – 

He commissioned us with a gentle way to fly,

As well as a gentle voice 

That twitters a bit sometimes 

But most of all it is a gentle cooing, if you but take the time to listen.

I do not know if you get out into gardens 

Or gentle groves of trees –

But I, my family and friends, we can be found in many of these places

Just enjoying life as God provides and cares for us.

Some people even have some of my friends in their homes,

For them it is a comfort to have that presence nearby reminding them of the Spirit – 

And they love and care for my friends making sure they have food and water

And are not bothered by predators. 

It is my prayer today that as you read the story I have shared

That you will see us doves in a different way – 

May you find as you pass by our homes, our resting places,

As you hear our gentle wings and especially our gentle cooing

Your spirit will bask in the Spirit’s love and peace

And may you know how special you are to God. 

Your friend – the Dove.

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