Peace. It's a bone-filling, soul-soothing, breath-within-me-that-wasn't-mine sort of a feeling. Peace. It's real. Let me tell you how I know:
It was back in April. Months ago, I know, but I suppose I'm just now getting around to making sense of it. It was a particularly difficult week. It was a time of grief. A time of searching. It was one of those times you recognize - even in the midst of it - as a turning point. Either you'd be okay or you wouldn't. Either you would beat it or it would beat you. Perhaps you've been there? I was. This was one of those times.
I'd hung laundry on the clothesline. An entire load. I'd shuffled about, pinning and praying.
Lord, I need... I need...
When I couldn't even finish my prayer, I tearfully shrugged at the sky.
I can't... God, I don't even know....
Sobs ripped through me but wouldn't come out. I wasn't making a bit of sense. Frustrated - hopelessly exasperated by my inability to string together words for the most basic of prayers - I flung a clothespin to the ground and cried out.
I froze. I froze and stared. I stared because there, just beyond my feet, sat a white dove. A perfect white dove. A dove at my clothesline.
My breath left me, but the moment it did, something else was there. It was warm ... like chicken broth going down. Only this started within. It was... full... as though I had breath without inhaling... as though I had somehow breathed underwater. It was electric... like a fuse blowing and sparking, yet at the same time it was calming... like watching a sunset while wrapped in a quilt. It was amazing and it washed inside and over me like a wave.
I cried. The dove listened.
And it stayed. Even when I went in to get my camera, it stayed. It stayed as I cried and prayed and questioned. It stayed as I took its picture and got close. And as the sun began to set, it flew to the fence and perched there as I said goodbye.
The next morning, I hurried out. It was still there. So, too, was that feeling. I ran and got my neighbor. "Do you see that?" I cried.
"Yes," she said, slowly. "What's a dove doing here?"
It was gone by lunch. The warm, electric, breath-that's-not-my-own feeling stayed.
Neighbors, upon hearing that Freeman House was visited by a white dove, reasoned that it must have been part of the wedding the previous afternoon at the Methodist church. It had obviously gotten lost and had to land somewhere on its journey out of town.
I don't know. To this day the entire experience is more than I make complete sense of. All I can say for certain is that day, this child of God needed Him. Needed to see and talk to her Creator. And there, when she least expected it and most required it, was a dove. A dove, and the most inexplicable, awe-inspiring aura I've ever felt. Peace. Peace....
It was peace - given and left. It is there, and it's ours for the taking. Peace. Real peace. Just as He promised. Just exactly as He promised.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Monday Moment: Peace- Given and Left
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled
and do not be afraid.
Monday Moment is a devotional to help kick-start your week. See you again next Monday!