When I got up this morning, I was greeted by the soft cooing sound of a dove’s call. It must have been perched near a vent shaft. I often hear them at a distance and pay little attention to their song. This one I could not let go unnoticed. It sounded too close to ignore. That being the case, it set me to thinking and reminiscing.
I remembered that my mother used to refer to it as a rain dove—when you heard it, the implication was that it was going to rain. I never noticed any correspondence between the dove’s call and the coming of rain, but so the saying went---perhaps harking back to how the dove helped Noah to know when the flood waters were receding. I seem to hear doves calling mostly in the morning. Do they do it to wake up the world? Or because they are happy in the morning? Or to send a message to other doves? I don’t know. But I like their cooing. It’s not harsh, or insistent. But it is calm, and distinct, and kind of assuring. It’s a peaceful sound—the dove’s coo.
So much like God in that respect. The most unmistakable experiences of God’s presence are those that are quietly assertive like the dove’s call. The ancient prophet perceived that God was not in the earthquake, wind, or fire, but in the quiet, assuring, insistent moment---kind of like the cooing of the dove. Jesus may have meant even more than we often think when he said “Consider the birds of the air….” God not only cares for them, but speaks to us through their ways.
“Thank you God for speaking to us through the creatures and plants around us. In these days of summer abundance, may we be assured of your loving presence. Amen”