Psalm 55:6 – And I said, "Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then I would fly away, and be at rest." (KJV)
John 1:32 – And John bare record, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him." (KJV)
It was one of those melancholy mornings, when one remembers what one had been doing during the same time last year with someone who is no longer here.
My father-in-law (a long-time railroader), at 94, had begun to slow down. He'd been the care-giver for his second wife for over two decades, insisting on doing all the cooking, cleaning, gardening, shopping and all the things that go along with keeping house. It was okay for family to help, but aside from that, neither party wanted any outside assistance. Any family, however, lived far away, and it had come to the point where at least some help was going to be necessary.
I was blessed to have been given a wonderful week alone with him, and having been through the journey many times, including with my own parents, it was evident that he was tired and preparing to leave this earth. At one point, we had been sitting silently across from each other, his eyes had been closed, and when they opened, I asked what he'd been thinking. "Oh," he said, half smiling, "You can't hurry God, you just only can go when He's ready for you."
And so, several months later, after a few more family visits, he did just that.
Though we were of different denominations, we had shared a common love for the hymn, "Make me a channel of Your peace" from the Prayer of St. Francis.
This year, on that particular morning, as I approached my preferred pathway parallel to the train tracks, a beautiful dove descended onto the tracks, hopped up onto a rail and sat looking at me. Soon it was joined by another.
I had to laugh and straightaway send my thanks, for I see these seemingly subtle signs to be powerful messages of His presence, His peace and His proof that all is well in the world beyond.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the endless ways You find in which to favour us with Your presence. May we continue to grow as we learn how to listen and see what You are saying. In Your name we pray. Amen.