Friday, September 22, 2017

🎄 The Dove

December 22, 2016 by  
Filed under 2016 Christmas, Monthly Articles

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The Dove
by Mary Frank

I’m still somewhat high on yesterday’s dove visit.  That Wednesday afternoon I was doing some “intellectually-stimulating activities” on the computer when the phone rang. I have no idea where I left my phone as I’m not used to having a cell phone and remembering to carry it around with me after 50+ years of landline usage.

Anyhow, by the time I follow the music and make it to the living room the call has gone to voice mail, which I immediately access because I noted the call was from Judi, my neighbor and friend, who often calls to borrow tomato paste or some other ingredient her supper would otherwise be lacking. Judi is Catholic. Judi is high strung. Judi talks fast and non-stop. The message is short with the words slurred together as if one hyphenated run-on sentence. “Are-you-home?-Quick!-Hurry-outside!-The-Holy-Spirit-is-between-our-houses!” Click. I race down the short flight of steps to the door, phone still in hand, thinking to myself “what in the world is Judi talking about? A cloud formation hanging over the park entrance that separates our yards? The way a shadow dances and mimics animal or human forms (somebody sold a sandwich on Ebay because the mayonnaise dried into a likeness of Elvis)? Is her pacemaker on the fritz and causing delusions?”

As I hurry toward Judi’s house, I see it. The Holy Spirit. Or at least the beautiful creature that represented His presence in Biblical days. Just sitting there quietly on the edge of Judi’s lawn and taking an occasional hop toward the blacktop. I stop abruptly and suck in my breath loudly and hold it for several seconds, then slowly make my way to where Judi and her husband are watching this little piece of Heaven; Gary taking a picture and Judi gesturing wildly as if I needed her to point out the whereabouts of this pure white visitor. My eyes on the dove and my right hand on my cell phone, I fumble to activate the camera while slowly approaching, ever so slowly. The dove moves away. I take several photos in case it flies away and the opportunity is lost. Looking at the pictures briefly I see that the dove is merely represented by a white dot on green grass with asphalt behind it. I must get closer in order for anyone to believe that there was indeed a white dove and not some white speck impersonating one. But alas, as I approached this wondrous sight with arm outstretched in front of me, white speck bobbing about the 2×3” screen with each lumbering step, the dove spread her wings and gracefully performed a half-arc and perched herself right on my fence! Gary, no longer intrigued, returns to the lawn mower while Judi and I follow the dove and talk to her in soothing tones. Me: “There, there, it’s OK.” Judi: “Don’t go, Holy Spirit.” Another step closer. Me: “That’s a good bird.” Judi: “Stay, Holy Spirit.” Camera front and center. Me: “Pretty girl. Stay right there. Pose for me.” Judi: “Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit.”  If this dove is the embodiment of the Holy Spirit, as Judi believed, what is He trying to tell me by sitting on my fence? That everything will be OK? That He is still all powerful and in control of all circumstances? That He will come again? I manage to get about five feet from her and quickly snapped and saved three shots, fearing another flight. And who knew when she’d disappear for good.

She did fly away soon after that. She rose skyward briefly, the dipped low to the ground before arcing up to the West side of Judi’s roof. A beautiful, awesome vision. She perches there on the corner just above the eaves. A jealous thought rises in my mind: So the Holy Spirit sits on my fence, but rests upon Judi’s house? What exactly does this imply? That Judi is sheltered beneath the wings of the Almighty and I shouldn’t straddle the fence? I discard the notion; after all, I too am a Christian, saved by grace. Within a few minutes this lovely, rarely-seen bird again lifted off, and we didn’t see her again. Perhaps she returned to her home, or perhaps she visited another family in need of the reminder that Jesus Christ is indeed God’s Only Begotten Son, In Whom He is Well Pleased.

This morning upon rising my feet led me to the back door off the kitchen. It is foggy outside. No, my focusing eyes realize the outer side of the glass panes are heavy with condensation; it is like a sauna out there at 8am. Once out of the air conditioning, the air is so wet and heavy my lungs are suffocating, yet I stood on the deck, bare feet sticky with deck stain, looking hopefully for the white and graceful bird. She was not present and I am not truly disappointed, for I know that to see her again would lessen the meaning of the previous day’s visitation. And I also know that the Holy Spirit, given by the Lord and King as our Helper and Guide, is with those who belong to Him always. If only we would be still, watch and listen.

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