"The most important of life's battles is the one we fight daily in the silent chambers of the soul."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

My Dove

I said, "Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest-
Psalm 55:6

Listen, sweet Dove, unto my song, And spread thy golden wings in me; Hatching my tender heart so long, Till it get wing, and flie away with Thee. Author: George Herbert

Wings Of A Dove (Hymn)

On the wings of a snow white dove, He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above, On the wings of dove.

When troubles surround us, When evils come
The body grows weak, The spirit grows numb
When these things beset us, He doesn't forget us
He sends down His love, On the wings of a dove.

On the wings of a snow white dove, He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above, On the wings of dove.

When Jesus went down To the river that day
He was baptized In the usual way
And when it was done, God blessed His Son
He sent Him His love, On the wings of dove

On the wings of a snow white dove, He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above, On the wings of dove.

When Noah had drifted, On the flood many days
He searched for land, In various ways
Troubles he had some, But wasn't forgotten
He sent him His love, On the wings of a dove.

On the wings of a snow white dove, He sends His pure sweet love
A sign from above, On the wings of dove.

The Dove was, by far, one of the most important birds in the Bible. For it was the poor man’s sacrifice and widely kept as a domestic bird. Various cultures and religions conceived of birds, the denizens of the heavens, as divine revelations, and the bearers of heavenly messages of guidance. The bird was man’s soul or spirit as it was released from the body in ecstasy or in death. It was seen as the embodiment of liberty and the transcendence of the soul, the victory spirit over matter.

In Judaism, the dove signified the love of God for His Chosen People, the Israelites. White doves, signs of purity, were sacrificial offerings offered for purification at the Temple in Jerusalem. The Old Testament symbolized the dove in various forms. The dove was frequently used in the "Song of Songs," largely to convey terms of endearment: in their behavior, the doves paired for a long time. "Oh how beautiful, your eyes are like doves ..." (Songs 1: 15).

The Hebrew word for dove is Yonah, coming from the root meaning of a moaning sound, "I moan like a dove" (Is 38: 14). This would explain the call of many species of doves.

"My dove, that hides in holes in the cliff or in crannies on the high ledges" (Songs 2: 14) is a confirmation of their nesting habits. Doves make nests of twigs and scraps of debris, sometimes on rocks or in holes in cliffs, but mostly in trees and bushes. Jeremiah’s simile in the "Judgment of Moab," telling the people "to be like a ‘dove’ that makes its nest inside the hole’s mouth," confirms the nesting habit of the bird in ancient times.

In Christian lore and tradition, the dove is usually the symbol of the Holy Spirit or "heavenly messenger," particularly found in portrayals of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. It is also seen denoting the Holy Spirit descending on Christ at His Baptism: "He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove to alight upon Him ..." (Matt. 3: 16-17). Later on, in Matt. 10: 16, "be wary as serpents, innocent as doves," seems to imply the meaning of gentleness.

Christian art depicts the dove as hovering over the Virgin Mary’s head, symbolizing Mary’s submissive innocence. Numerous saints have also been depicted with hovering doves (sign of Divine inspiration), such as St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Fabian, St. Gregory the Great, St. Louis, and St. Dustan. In early Christian paintings, the dove’s head is surrounded by a "Golden Nimbus," frequently seen in the form of a cross or of seven rays terminating in seven stars to symbolize the seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The dove also became the Christian symbol of "Peace" as seen in the catacombs of Rome. Figured on tombs and sarcophagi, the dove also represented grief and martyrdom.

It has been stated that no birds were more persecuted than doves — yet the Bible regarded them as worthy of being offered upon the altar.

Doves were also the only domesticated birds kept in large numbers by the Israelites. It became fashionable, at the time, to build huge dovecotes on the ledges inside the walls. King Herod was referred to as a breeder of doves, as recorded by Josephus the Jewish Historian. During the Roman period, historical references mentioned that these dovecotes sometimes housed as many as 5000 birds. Even large caves were adapted for this purpose. E.g. An example can still be seen in the Judean Hills near Beit Guvrin.

Relationship of doves within the flock, as well as with man, inspired images of love. The representation of lovers clearly was a reflection of the monogamous faithfulness of a dove couple that jointly raised their brood. The homing instincts of doves suggested the image that the bird was a harbinger of good tidings — like the dove in the story of the Flood. "She came back to him towards evening with a newly plucked olive leaf in her beak ..." (Gen. 7: 11).

This characteristic is why doves served both as navigational functions as well as message bearers. And in my moment when I needed an answer to a prayer, He sent his messenger a dove. I prayed for peace in my heart and with others. As I raised my head, I seen the dove appear from nothing. It flew straight at me at what seemed slow motion. I was able to see every detail of the dove in flight. This dove landed on the church top after this. As I started my vehicle to leave this dove followed me. It went to the house across the road from the church to wait on me. It acted as if it wanted me to follow it. I went on. And it went back to land upon the church.

The next few days I seen my pure white dove. It shone with a brightness I had never seen upon anything before. It flew in a continuous circle like it was waiting for someone. I looked up and it landed a short distance from me. As I entered the building the dove walked back and forth outside, continuously looking at the building. It felt like its eyes were upon me. I can't explain it.

I had never seen a white dove before in my life in the wild. This one seemed to have taken up with me. I don't know if it's the holy spirit, my father's spirit permitted by God to watch over me, or just a dove. But I know one thing it was sent to me by God regardless. At a moment when I needed to see His love. There are no coincidences in life. God plans each step. We may not understand it now but one day we will.

Oh, how wonderful, this soul searching has become with its ups and its downs. Blessed be Your name be for the ages.


Lance Gargus

Holy Spirit,Doves,Love,Children,Heaven


Enemy of the Republic said...

Since I'm a city girl, I often don't know if the white birds are pigeons, seagulls or doves. I just always remember that my son, when he was very young, would just be drawn to them and chase them around. There is a beauty to the dove that makes me think of the white light that emanates from angels; maybe you were seeing the Holy Spirit descend in a way that could comfort you that one day or maybe it was one of God's angels telling you not to worry, that your father was safe and happy with the Heavenly Father. Gosh, I never write like this, but I thank you for this post; I really didn't know all of this.

I know that doves are a frequent image in the metaphysical poetry of people like George Herbert, John Donne and even T.S.Eliot. But I never dwelled on it. Right now I am reading Lamentations; I will look to see if doves can be found amidst such sorrow and such grace that the book shares with us.

Lance, you the man!

FishHawk said...

I have no doubt of what you saw. Is our Heavenly Father not absolutely amazing? For He is well-pleased to reveal Himself in a multitude of ways; and blessed be all who will but want to truly find Him.

LAUREN at Faith Fuel- said...

Fascinating information about eh history of doves. There's so much about birds, in general, in the Scriptures. I also love the imagery of us mounting up with wings as eagles, running and not growing weary, walking and not growing faint.
A beautiful post, Lance.

Enemy of the Republic said...

I'm not so good at leaving links in the comments section, but here goes:

In case the hyperlink doesn't work,
here it is:http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05144b.htm

MadMaktub said...

I will need all your prays..mainly these days. It is like coming back to Earth. If I do something wrong at this time I will be out forever. Im having problems to identify myself and I dont know what is this.

Thanks for your support. I wish all the best for you and your family.

inspired said...


KimPossible said...



Anonymous said...

Dear Lance,

My name's John and I came across your site while looking at various Christian poetry sites and I wanted to say that you have a beautiful site. It's a wonderful tribute to Christ and also your father. My father passed away in May of 2005 from cancer and I'm just starting to get over the void his absence has left in my heart and life. But like you mention in your "Wings of a Dove" poem, everything happens for a reason because during his bout with cancer he finally accepted Christ.

And Lance, I'm also hoping that you would be so kind as to mention my site somewhere on your page. The site's called bibleco and we provide Bibles to Churches, missionaries, and Christian families.

And please let me know if I can be of assistance to you! Thursday night is family game night for our family and so I know of a few fun Christian board games.
Well, I hope to hear back from you and let me know if you'd like a board game for your family too!
God Bless,
John D

Anonymous said...

Hi Lance,
In this last year I notice one importan thing in my life, has I grow up in my inner, has I purify my heart and stay more and more close to God I become aware that some animals don’t runaway from me like it should be natural to happen. When I do my walkings through nature I feel my being be surround by a peaceful energy so deeper that it frees my heart, like if nature gives me is welcome. And this feeling its so great that makes me bless all kinds of life. I know that I isolate myself from people more that I should do, but it seems that I cant fight this way that I´m and more and more I want to isolate me from people and become more and more closer to the nature because, I feel the pureness of nature and it free´s my soul in the way so high. Its dificult to express in words what it feels like, but it’s a great sensacion. The animals and nature are pure and simple and as more I became closer to them I feel that I become closer to God. So, I understand very well your words and feelings about this white dove that you write about in your post “ My dove”.

The animals and nature are the way that God have to show us his love in the most simple and pure form. And the way that he have to tell us that he see us.

I love the song to. The singer have I nice and sweet voice.

Stay well,


Christy the poet said...

i saw a post of yours on xanga and followed the link to your blog here. very nice and extremely informative tidbits. you can visit my xanga if you wish at www.xanga.com/christy_the_poet

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