A Dove, and What ?

Have you ever cared for an elderly parent ?

It is a particularly tender time.

In my mom’s 88th year, my brother and I realized that she could no longer safely live by herself in her house that she loved so much.

And so, to enable her to continue to live at home, we took turns living with her and caring for her.

One morning we noticed a mourning dove nesting in a cedar hedge in her garden. The dove was aware of us, and stared at us intently, but she did not move. Instead, she remained perfectly still and calm.

Each morning after that, I went to visit the dove, staying at a respectful distance. We looked at each other, and I recognized clearly from this trusting bird why doves are considered symbols of peace.

After two weeks, the dove was gone ! I approached the nest and saw four little eyes staring at me, in the same calm manner. Mama dove had briefly gone to find food for her babies.

The dove that I’d been watching was actually two doves, since both parents incubate the eggs.

In Matthew 10:16,Jesus tells his followers how they are to conduct themselves in the world. He says :

‘be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves’

The dove part I understand. We are to lead upright lives, and point others to Christ, but a snake, ….yikes, why is this disliked creature mentioned ?

Genesis 3:1 describes the serpent as the ‘craftiest of creatures’.

These creatures are particularly patient, and know how avoid danger. Beyond their five senses they also possess infrared sensors to enable them to detect heat from other creatures.

We need spiritual ‘craftiness’ to negotiate our way in the world. If we rely only on our innocence , we will fall prey to the wicked. The spiritual battle we are in is constant, and we need to be clever, and alert, to protect ourselves and others.

We need the supernatural discernment and wisdom that come only from from the Lord. As we mature in our faith, our spiritual senses sharpen so that we can judge between what genuinely is from God, and what, or who, is not. Hebrews 5:14

Let us continue to pray for the gifts of wisdom and discernment, for these spiritual strengths are necessary for us to further the Kingdom of God. Our Father readily grants wisdom to us, if we ask him for it. ( James 1:5).

My mom continued to live in her lovely home for another four years.

Mourning doves remind me of her.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

51 thoughts on “A Dove, and What ?

  1. Thanks for sharing, Sally. Great points, and very poignantly illustrated. We are blessed with mourning doves that visit our yard also, and they are truly lovely creatures.
    God bless,
    Craig

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Craig ! Yes, you are blessed having these gentle birds visit your yard. They are beautiful and trusting, and are are great symbols of peace. Thanks ๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒท

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi !
      Yes, that verse has puzzled me for some time.
      I think our Lord is telling us, as He does several times, to remain alert. Paul further describes how we need to spiritually protect ourselves in Ephesians 6: 10-17. Thanks๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒท

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You tell wonderful stories, Sally. And you never waste words! Thereโ€™s always a point, tooโ€”a good and virtuous one.

    Many Christians believe that a visitation from a mourning dove is a sign of Godโ€™s blessing and care. I tend to agree. You and your brotherโ€™s sacrificial love for your mother certainly qualifies! Blessings.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Wow, David, thanks for telling me this. I didn’t know that a mourning dove is a sign of God’s blessing and care. So true, my brother and I were greatly blessed during the tender time we cared for our mom. I appreciate your kind words. ๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒท

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I believe the tradition of seeing a visitation of a dove as a blessing goes all the way back to Christโ€™s baptism by his cousin John. โ€œAs Jesus was coming up out of the water, He saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on Him like a dove.โ€ (Mark 1:10 NIV). This was followed immediately by a voice from heaven that pronounced a blessing upon Jesus.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful post. As happens so often, I had this thought not long ago and again today after visiting my Great Aunt, who is 85 and doing great, also living independently in her home. How beautiful to have her peace and yet she is never taken advantage of because she can smell evil, living so close to God all these years. So important.๐Ÿ˜€โค

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Again, Tonya. We think alike so often ! Yes, that is a great way to put it -‘she can smell evil’ – living close to God brings us so many strengths and blessings, especially as we grow older.
      Blessings to you and your Great Aunt. ๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒท๐Ÿค—

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  4. Doves are so sweet and beautiful, and they remind me of the presence of God (Holy Spirit). My children used to have a book of devotions written by a pastor who was also a zookeeper. All of the devotions were about animals. On the subject of being as wise a serpents, he wrote that snakes have eyelids that are transparent, so that even when they are sleeping and their eyes are closed, they can still see around them. They also have a slick coating on their scales, so they can slither through the dust without the dust sticking to them – meaning we should be “in the world, but not of the world” – in the world but not letting the corruption of the world stick to us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, Annie, thanks for these insights. I didn’t know that snakes have transparent eyelids, and that they are able to slither without collecting dust.
      So true, we don’t want the corruption of the world to stick to us. ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿค—

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sally, you were/are blessed to see them up so close! There were two I would once see every time I turned the corner at the end of our lane. They would either fly from the oak to the pavement or from the pavement to the tree every time I passed through. I no longer see them there anymore. But I can hear a few in our yard at times. Not up close though. They truly are beautiful and their cooing is so peaceful! ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, Renee, their cooing is so peaceful, and they were a blessing to us as we cared for our mom. Thanks for your comment. ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿค—

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  6. I love the sound of mourning doves when they take flight. How lovely that they now remind you of your mother. I never fully grasped what Jesus meant when he said “be shrewd as snakes” for the same Genesis 3 reason you listed. I greatly appreciate your explanation- “We need spiritual โ€˜craftinessโ€™ to negotiate our way in the world. If we rely only on our innocence , we will fall prey to the wicked. The spiritual battle we are in is constant, and we need to be clever, and alert, to protect ourselves and others.” Your words have given me a greater understanding of what He meant. Blessings to you on this lovely Sunday.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, Beth. This is a verse that I also failed to grasp for a long time.
      May our Lord continue to protect us and guide us as we navigate through life. ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿค—

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  7. What a great post Sally! Thank you! You have illustrated so well the โ€œtwo sidesโ€ of our walk with the Lord Jesus. What a great thing to have mourning doves always remind you of that time with your mother. After all our parents have done for us it is an honor and blessing to be there for them in their last time. The greatest honor, of course, is to be there for our heavenly Father. Blessings

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Innocent as doves but as shrewd and snakes. Yes, I learned this through tough lessons. I’ve always trusted people if they were nice to me and I got a good vibe from them, but sometimes they can put on an act and take advantage of trusting nature. I am helping to care for my elderly father so relate with your thoughts on the subject.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much for your comment.
      You are blessed to help to care for your dad. It is a tender time, and I’m sure your father is grateful for your kindness. ๐Ÿค—๐ŸŒผ

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I like how you weaved the doves into the front story of taking care of your Mom. Sometimes it’s hard to be gently like a dove when care giving. I took care of my dad for the last four years of his life. It was the most revealing t ime of my life, the hardest, yet God taught me the most important truth that has followed through different ministries. I do not have to feel like a dove to act like a dove. Love is an act of the will. Jesus loved us that way as He pleaded with the FAther to take the cup from Him. That is a love that will carry one through life, His love for us. I can do anything knowing He loves me and His love will still be there even if I mess up. Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Betty. Great point : ‘we do not have to feel like a dove to act like a dove’.
      Love indeed is an act of the will.
      Bless you for caring for your dad. ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒท

      Like

    1. Thanks so much. When I observed them closely, I admired the beautiful turquoise rings around their dark eyes.
      God is so exquisitely detail-oriented. ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒผ๐Ÿค—

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  10. This is my favorite Bible Verse because it teaches us how not to be codependent:
    โ€œโ€ฆ..In Matthew 10:16,Jesus tells his followers how they are to conduct themselves in the world. He says : โ€˜be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as dovesโ€™โ€ฆ โ€œ

    And you explained it so eloquently.

    Liked by 2 people

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