Mourning Dove

While I was away a few weeks ago, I downloaded an app on my phone called “Song Sleuth”. We would sit out on the deck and enjoy the species of birds and their songs. One morning, I heard a familiar sound of the dove. My husband loves to clasp his hands together and create the sound.

I’m sure I studied the dove prior to my adulthood and learned that her name was “mourning dove”; but, for some reason, that morning, I had it in my mind that her name was “morning dove”. I hear you most in the morning so “morning dove”. When I looked up information on my app and saw the word “mourning”, I found myself wanting to know more about this beautiful creation of God.

To awaken in the morning to the sound of birds singing and to the sun rising, brings the freshness of a new day, and the promise of renewed mercies. They seem busy, just like us, taking care of their young, eating, tending the nest, mating, and singing. Each bird with their unique song to sing. If you stop and listen to their song, each one has their rhythm and way of communicating that is unique to them, hence the reason my app can identify them.

Ace teaching Adelaide how to make the mourning dove sound

My soul needs every song I hear.

The hawk, blue jay, cardinal, robin, chickadee, red-bellied woodpecker, and tufted titmouse come together in a beautiful cacophony of joyous merrymaking. Their songs are quick and higher pitched. Then, just at the right time, the mourning dove enters into the sheet music with a slow, lower-pitched, rhythmic sound that brings a remembrance or a pause.

She seems wiser than the rest and brave. Her life experiences have brought her to a place of stillness and reflection. She is peaceful and knowing. She loves with the knowledge that loving brings suffering because of loss; yet, she sings because her soul is filled with years of God moments and stories of letting go.

“I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me

I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!” (Elevation Music, “I Raise a Hallelujah”)

Perhaps, year after year, day in and day out, she awakens with the heartbeat of “I shall not want”. She’s learned, over time, you got to keep singing and trusting in God’s faithfulness.

Naomi, in the book of Ruth, was a woman who kept it moving when she lost her husband, her sons, and only had her two daughter-in-laws left. One daughter stayed–Ruth. I encourage you to read the whole story in the Old Testament. For now, I want to ponder what the author of my Bible study shared. T.D. Jakes began to apply Naomi’s life to ours–a season of suffering. First this, then that, then after many years you look back and you can’t remember when you were not dealing with some kind of situation or crisis. He personalized the story, sharing about their season as a couple beginning a new church and caring for small children. At the time, his mother-in-law was living with them and helping them with the children and daily tasks. When his wife got a call, while they were away at a conference, that her mother had been rushed to the hospital, and later died, he noticed:

“But I know without a doubt that when they turned off the respirator that was breathing for her mother, something in Serita turned off as well. A part of the life and vibrancy I had always seen and loved in my wife went limp, and I’m not sure it was ever resuscitated.” (Jakes, 2020, p. 83)

I was doing dishes, cleaning, and cooking dinner when my audible app spoke those words. I paused and reflected on how true and profound this notice was for him. I get it.

Do you ever get tired of comparing your older self to your younger self and wondering why you just can’t seem to bring that “I’ve got the world by its tail” kind of spirit back?” That whimsical, “I’m going to change the world” spirit is necessary in our youth, but as we grow older and wiser, we find a peace in letting go, realizing we are not in control, and the wisdom of knowing and accepting things we can’t change and the things we can through the power of the Holy Spirit and trusted counsel.

I tried to think back to when that moment was for me that life went “limp”. The necessity of life being secondary to the knowledge of my desperate need for Jesus and a prayer life that seeks Him. What I see before me is not my destiny. My destiny is my relationship with Jesus–heart, soul, and mind.

I took a moment to think of life events. I don’t linger there, but God wanted me to look back a little. I hope you can spend time remembering and seeking God.

Oh sweet mourning dove I sing and rejoice with you! If I could put words to your music it would be this song:

“All my devotion is like sinking sand. I’ve nothing to cling to but your sweet hand. I’ve no clear emotions keeping me safe at night; Only your presence, like a candle light. After everything I’ve had. After everything I’ve lost. Lord, I know this much is true, I’m still drawn to you. I pour out my sorrows just like a precious oil. I kiss your feet, Lord, with a holy joy. My tears an offering of my highest praise; Your eyes say ‘welcome.’ And I receive Your gaze. ‘Cause after everything I’ve had And after everything I’ve lost Lord, I know this much is true I’m still drawn to you After everything’s been said. After everything love cost. Lord, I know this much is true I’m still drawn to you. You know I am Lord, I know this much is true I’m still drawn to you.” “Drawn to You” by Audrey Assad – Lyric Video

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