Recently I attended a wedding at a beautiful plantation home on one of Virginia’s grand rivers. It was a beautiful summer day, flowers were all over the property, there was plenty of delicious food and drink and there were friends from young to old. The couple had been high school sweethearts, had married other spouses, had children and grandchildren and then were reunited to spend their last days together.
Everything had been planned to the tee and thought through completely. The idea of letting doves be released and fly into the blue sky when the couple were pronounced man and wife sounded perfect. The doves were placed in a cage on the perfectly manicured lawn near the bride and groom. The children and grandchildren were included in the wedding party and were making their entrance. Little did anyone know that one of the older granddaughters would have her new dog walk down the aisle with her. A lot of people have pets to be a part of ceremonies; however, the fun part started when the dog saw the doves. The dog started barking and the doves started squawking and feathers started flying. The doves could not stop beating against the cage and all they wanted was to fly and get out of this difficult situation. Finally, the dog was removed and the doves settled down. The wedding was completed and the doves were released into the beautiful open sky and to their freedom from the matters at hand.
The problem was completely solved when the doves were released. To have kept them in their cage and “willed” them to behave was not going to happen. True freedom came when their owner released them to do what they were created to do, to fly.
In my own life, I can resonate with the doves in the cage. There have been times that I have beaten against the sides of my own finite mind and way of thinking. As hard as I try, I realize that while I am in my own “cage”, determined for things to be different, I can look as silly as the wedding doves in distress. There have been times that I have tried to “will” things in my life to change. There are areas that I want to change, including old ways of thinking and old fears. I am learning that I cannot “will” these things away by trying harder. I do need to be willing for God to change me and “release” all I have to Him. Last week my friend Julia reminded me that this includes all the fear, anger, and anxiety about the past and the future, as I lift it up to Him and let it float into his mighty and able hands. This also includes releasing others whom I love and for whom I care. When I do this I have so much more space in my head and heart to be filled with the hope and truth he instills.
Releasing is not easy for me. As long as there is a plan or way of solving it on my own, I tend to stick in there. For me, releasing is not immediate. It might start with resolve, then a slight loosening of the grip and finally my fingers and heart begin to open. Freedom happens when I finally turn it over. When I do this, I can be like the doves soaring “with all my feathers”, doing that for which I am created.
“Your salvation requires you to turn back to me, and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves. Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me.” Isaiah 30:15
One thought on “The Doves”
The image of the doves fluttering and beating themselves against the cage is so powerful. Thank you Lindy for writing this. I don’t think I will ever forget this image!