Thursday, May 18, 2017

The death of the dove

A cat killed the dove - my beloved, porch-visiting mourning dove. I loved watching the dove from my living room window. She would come and sit on the railings while she sang bird songs and calmed me with gentle coos. My mourning dove was graceful and innocent.
Then an enemy robbed her of life. A vicious, blood-thirsty cat attacked and killed her. I heard the violent assault take place outside my bedroom window under the darkness of night. The screeching of the cat released desperate calls from the dove. I shuttered at the sounds of such a beautiful, simple creature being brutalized. I pictured her futile fluttering, made in a final attempt to flee from her foe. But she couldn't escape. The dove went silent while the cat made its final victorious cry.
I awoke the next morning under a pall of sadness. The events of the night had left my inner soul disquieted and unsettled. Where was God when the dove needed protection and safety? Why did God let the ferocious foe have the victory over its feathered victim? How could God allow such evil to brutalize the innocent?
As I made my way into the living room at the break of dawn I didn't want to look out the window. With my heart uneasy with questions I wanted to avoid even the sight of the railing where the dove once stood to make her daily revelry. But avoiding a big glass window is a lost cause. As my eyes glanced in the direction of the sun they caught a glimpse of the porch. For a few moments I let my gaze linger on the railing where the dove once stood and as I did, a movement off in the distance caught my attention from the corner of my eye.
A rabbit.
In the grass just a few feet away a little brown hare stood alone on the lawn, munching on the lush green feast beneath her paws. As I made my way to the window she looked up and paused mid-munch. I paused too, careful not to disturb her meal. She seemed to sniff the air to reaffirm her assurance that the noise she heard wasn't a nearby cat, then she went back to her breakfast.

That morning when I had stepped up to the window I had looked out expecting to meditate on the loss of the dove. My heart was aching for the death of the beauty I had come to enjoy and appreciate but the rabbit restored to me the hope I have in life. When I saw the rabbit, the quiet survivor of the previous night's attacks, I was reminded that evil never has the final say. Wickedness does not have the ultimate victory.
Life always wins.
The beauty of the dove is gone but the dove was not the only creature that blessed the view from my back porch. The rabbit out in the lawn, the chipmunk in the mulch and the Caterpillar climbing up my door post have all bestowed on my little porch a goodness and beauty all their own. They do not sing songs like the mourning dove and they do not flutter feathers, but they are their own special kind of beautiful, the bearers of a beauty I had missed when I was only listening to the tune of the dove.
Of course I will miss the dove. She was a sweet daily visitor but I know that God had even the days and hours of the dove in His hands. He didn't let her meet her end without His knowledge. Although I do not understand why He allowed her to endure such a cruel fate, I will not question the ways of God.
For I know that in the lives of doves and in the lives of all God's created children, He allows death to bring about life. As God did not spare His own Son from the cruelty of death that brought about the everlasting beauty of eternal life, so He will not spare me from the death of what I cherish as beautiful to bring about a Heavenly glory that is beyond any splendor this world could ever contain. In this life I will see death and endure loss, but in Christ I have the assurance of life - eternal, everlasting, abundant life.