Thursday, January 26, 2012

a white dove on Australia Day

As I walked outside today, Australia Day, I encountered a white dove. (Australia has over 20 types of pigeons and doves. It looked like a Pied Imperial Pigeon, but they are meant to be in the north of the country). I stopped, hoping it might come closer. Slowly it walked toward me, head cocked. It got to within a feet. I could see it’s dark eye, carefully studying me. Slowly it circled in front of me, and then slowly walked off.

It felt profound. Christianity has a long history of paying attention to animals. In Matthew 6, Jesus invites his disciples to learn from flowers and birds. Saint Cuthbert had many God encounters through animals (For more, see St. Cuthbert and the Animals’).

Today, this dove offered me trust, responding to my newness, my largeness, my stepping into their world, with an open curiousity about who I might be and how I might respond.

It spoke of how I would like people to treat, and be treated. That we would greet what is new and different with a simple curiousity, a coming closer to know more.

Yesterday, a speaker at the Storyweaving conference stated that “Australia is a country of strangers.” It is so easy when we encounter what is strange to laugh, giggle, spot the difference, seek to make them like us.

The white dove, today, on Australia Day, offered me another way of being in the world, in which we respond to what is new with a trusting curiousity.

(This is another entry in dictionary of everyday spirituality, under the heading W is for white doves).

Posted by steve at 09:42 AM

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