Friday, June 27, 2008

The Story of Dove


I shared this story in my Sunday School class this past week. I wish I could take credit for it but I can't. I'm not sure who originally wrote it, but I did not. I got it from a sermon illustration site. Wow, did this ever hit home with quite a few people! Thought I would share it here. One young lady came to me after class and said, "I am Dove. I need help." Another couple said, "our daughter was Dove." This story hits very close to home for many reasons. (None having to do with my husband and I and our relationship, however we have helped many Dove's.)

The story is told of a wise owl and a beautiful little dove.

Dove had wonderful parents that provided for her. They taught Dove how to fly, and how important it is to keep a good clean nest. They taught Dove a good healthy diet and what was good and what was bad. The Wise Old Owl had often preached and taught Dove many lessons of life. The wise old Owl had seen many other birds associate with the wrong crowd and seen the scars they had incurred. Dove was taught properly and knew what was right.

Dove noticed this Buzzard flying around. She saw Buzzard who was always around rotten, maggot infested meat.

But Dove was attracted to Buzzard. He was different. Different appealed to Dove.

Dove started getting closer and closer to Buzzard. She would come into church after being with Buzzard and everyone could see the deterioration of Dove's life. She was quickly getting fleas and lice. The wise old Owl tried to warn the young beautiful Dove. Owl saw Dove’s potential and wanted to help her develop within God’s plan. Owl also could see the motive of Buzzard. Buzzard was a bird who had been around.

Dove got very mad at Owl. Why couldn’t Owl see that no one had ever given Buzzard a chance? All the Wise Old Owl and her parents saw was Buzzard’s past! Buzzard never had a chance. Everybody at school had picked on Buzzard; if only he was just given a fair chance. Dove knew her love could change Buzzard! Dove knew she could teach him to change, she could clean him up. She could make him rise to his full potential! His old habits weren’t his fault. It was his environment. The young and beautiful Dove thought, “ I will make a "Love Nest" and he will become a new Buzzard.”

Dove set out to show her parents and the Wise Old Owl how wrong they were! Meanwhile, Buzzard just laughed at everything.

So, one day Dove ran away with Buzzard. To show her love and commitment she got a tattoo proclaiming their love. Dove set about building a nest just like momma had taught her. It wasn’t too long until there were some new eggs in the nest. Dove warmed the eggs with love. She knew that Buzzard would change now that there were some babies to make Buzzard responsible. Buzzard started flying farther and farther from the nest. When Buzzard would come home, his breath smelled rotten. Dove asked “Buzzard, where have you been?” He got very defensive and said, “you are just like all the other birds and you don’t trust me!”

So Dove just sat there in lonely silence.The baby birds hatched, and poor Dove was left alone to feed and care for the babies. Buzzard was flying around, as he didn’t want to be tied down. The Wise Old Owl came by the nest to help Dove and told her, “Dove, you are precious – you are special and, you don’t need to allow this to continue.”Again, Buzzard flew off and was gone.

When Buzzard came home after being with his other birds, he smelled of fleas and lice. Poor little Dove soon got a disease from Buzzard. Dove wanted to make things work at all costs. She got a baby sitter and went out with Buzzard, trying to do whatever to change things. She decided…”I’ll try to become like Buzzard. I'll try to understand him and get into his world.” Dove sat high on her perch and looked on a decaying carcass, and got sick to her stomach. She thought, “I am better than this. How did I ever get myself into this mess?”

Dove thought of Owl and her parents, and of returning home. But in her mind she was convinced that they would laugh and mock her. She couldn't bear to hear the words, “I told you so!"

So Dove’s nest became nasty and infested. She hurt desperately. Buzzard told Dove, “It is your fault I fly around! If you were a better bird this wouldn’t happen. If you were just different, I could accept you. If you just cooked better. If you just provided better for me, I wouldn’t have to fly around like I do…”

Now Dove was broken. She accepted his words. She felt like a complete failure. She actually becomes convinced that she is the one who needs to change! She takes all the responsibility on herself. All of this is evidently her fault. Dove’s children now begin flying around to the maggot piles. She sheds many tears, now she sees WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN. If her choices were only different! If she just had listened to the Owl.

She now sees, Owl and her parents weren’t dumb. They weren’t picking on Buzzard. They only loved Dove and wanted her to be all she could be.

One night Dove’s oldest bird never came home, Dove paced the floor. Dove quit hiding Buzzard’s behavior from Owl and her parents. Dove brought the broken pieces of her nest to the altar and asked everyone to help her.

Failure is not final. You can fail and not be a failure. Dove might be used now to be able to warn others.

Experience is a very costly teacher.

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