|a diving hawk|
I felt sheepish afterwards. Lord knows, hawks have to eat too, and I have no idea how the dove felt about being described as "my" dove. What I hadn't realized is those gentle doves that hang around my backyard had gotten to me. I kind of felt sorry for them. The little brown wrens bob all over the place frantically, the pigeons muscle out smaller birds, the blue jays stop by screaming loudly to get their fair share, and if I put out peanut butter suet, a type of blackbird stops by in flocks to devour it within half a day, but the poor dove will just sit and wait until everyone else is done and then quietly munch on whatever seeds are left. If I get behind in filling the birdfeeder, the wrens go looking elsewhere, the blue jays and the rest are long gone, but not the doves. They'll hunker down underneath the birdfeeders and kind of look at my back window with mournful eyes. Sometimes they'll get up on the roof, and I'll hear their sad cries reminding me I've neglected them. It may take me awhile to get to filling the birdfeeders, but still, they stay, waiting patiently.
Isn't it remarkable that of all the birds God could've chosen to symbolize the Spirit, he chose a dove in Matthew 3?
And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.
I sometimes get the impression that a lot of Christians would prefer to see the Spirit as a hawk – diving, attacking, strong. Instead, God chose the dove, the gentlest of creatures. If I am to let the Spirit do its work in my life, perhaps I need to stop looking for dramatic changes radiating power and drama, and instead accept the gentleness, the quiet, the faithfulness of the dove.
|doves on the fence, huddling together for warmth|