My mornings often begin with prayer and a cup of coffee on my front porch. It’s a peaceful way to get ready for the day, sipping from my mug, and listening to the bird’s chatter. This is also the time my two indoor cats, Holly and Jojo, are allowed to roam outside safely under my watchful eye.
Recently, as I waited for the sun to peek over the mountain, I was startled by a ruckus at the side of my house. I jumped to my feet as Holly rounded the corner slapping her front paws on a bird whose wings beat wildly in an attempt to escape. As it broke free, the bird fluttered low to the ground and with wings still spread, landed on something large and pale in the grass under a tree.
As I quickly headed toward Holly and the injured bird, Jojo bolted like lightning toward the commotion. Both cats raced forward, but then stopped abruptly.
This was strange. Why didn’t they pounce?
I ran across the grass clapping my hands, shooing the reluctant cats back inside the house, and closed the door with a thud. As you can imagine, this wasn’t an easy feat! With a sigh of relief, I turned to see the bird in the grass, its wings flailed out flat. As I slowly approached, I determined the bird to be a female mourning dove. Her tawny chest heaved in and out, tiny dark eyes staring up at me. I bent to my knees when she moved a wing to reveal the body of a dead bird beneath her.
I gasped—realizing the bird must have been her mate. Mourning doves, often referred to as Turtle Doves, mate for life. This poor female dove had put herself in harm’s way to protect her mate, and she wasn’t going to leave him. Most likely, the cats were momentarily stunned when they realized there were two birds and not just one.
My husband, Scott, came outside and the female dove fluttered to a branch in the nearby tree. As Scott disposed of the dead bird, the dove flew from the tree and watched him from the rooftop. Later that day, I saw her sitting beneath the tree again, as if she was waiting for her mate’s return.
When I came to the porch the next morning, the female dove watched me from the tree—still waiting for her mate. She proved herself faithful to the very end and beyond. All week long, as the dove kept vigil for her beloved, I contemplated how her characteristics mirrored those of God.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Romans 1:20 Click To Tweet
If we look, God will reveal to us heavenly treasures through His creation like the mourning dove.
—God will never leave us.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Although the female eventually left, we can rest assured that God will never leave us.
—God will protect us.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
The mourning dove was no match for my cats. I hate to think of the outcome had I not been there. But no one can outmatch God!
—God will rescue us from danger.
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:18
The Lord rescues us from all harm—external and internal.
—God will fight for us.
“The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:14
What a comfort to know that the Almighty will fight on our behalf!
—God will never forget us.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” Isaiah 49:15
All of us feel forgotten at one time or another, but we can find peace knowing our Father always remembers us. We are each a beloved child whom He will never forget.
—God waits for us to return to Him.
“So the LORD must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.” Isaiah 30:18
Despite the fact that humans are prone to wander from God’s love, He waits patiently for our return—often wooing us toward His grace.
—God sent His Son Jesus who willingly died for our sins.
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
The wages of our sin is death. Jesus did what no one else could do for us: He paid the ultimate price with His perfect blood.
There are 55 Bible verses about birds.
Doves are mentioned 45 times in the Bible.
The dove is a symbol in Scripture for:
Peace and promise (Genesis 8:11-12; Isaiah 9:6)
Atonement (Genesis 15:9; Leviticus 5:7; 12:6; Luke 2:24)
Beauty (Song of Solomon 1:15; 2:14; 4:1; 5:2)
Purity (Psalm 55:6; 68:13)
Holy Spirit (Luke 3:21-22)
Believers (Matthew 10:16)
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! Prayer requests always welcome.
Love and Blessings,
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Oh my heart. I have about 12 doves that live around my house. I feel as if God’s peace surrounds in these beautiful birds. My heart is sad for this sweet girl. But I’m thankful that you were able to save her.
I know, Eve! I was misty-eyed all week.
Something I see quite often in spring and summer seasons are pairs of mourning doves sitting atop my pasture gates and fences. While they won’t let me get too close, they will sit still and quietly watch me drive by on the UTV or the tractor. They keep an eye out for the barn cats, but I can’t say the barn swallows do that well enough. In any case, whenever I see a pair of doves, I’m reminded of how God intended for our world to be. Thank you so much for being the sweet, gentle soul you are ma’am. God’s blessings.
J.D., thanks for sharing your experience on the ranch with God’s creatures. Yes, mourning doves are an example of how our world would be.
Love the doves and your logo.
Such a touching reflection, Beckie, as how God’s undying love for us can be modeled by “the least of these.” We have numerous mourning doves who visit the ground beneath our bird feeders daily. What fascinates me is how closely they are united. If an unexpected sound or entrance from a squirrel or chipmunk disturb their feeding time, they all take off in unison. How beautiful is that? Would we, as the body of Christ, be so united in our loyalty and love for our God!
Martha, thanks for sharing your experience with mourning doves. Yes, I agree. It would be amazing if the body of Christ would be so united in our loyalty and love for our God and each other!
God bless you, dear sister!
Beckie, such a moving story. And the analogy to how the Lord cares for us is incredible.
Karen, Seeing what happened the first day with the female dove was moving. But all week long, this sweet bird kept vigil for her mate! God’s love and faithfulness on display!