“We could fly so high
Let our spirits never die
In my heart I feel you are all my brothers
Create a world with no fear
Together we cry happy tears
See the nations turn their swords into plowshares….
Heal the world
Make it a better place
For you and for me, and the entire human race
There are people dying
If you care enough for the living
Make a better place for you and for me..”
Michael Jackson of blessed memory released this song in November 1992 to remind us of the need to peacefully co-exist. It is a clarion call for you and I to keep flying like a dove – loving one another, promoting peace and resolving conflicts within ourselves as well as between us and our families, friends, communities and nations. As the world is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the rate of divorce is rising; gang violence, terrorism and banditry are making news daily across the globe; individuals, communities, religious groups and nations are at war; many people are fighting depression and many have taken suicidal decisions. All these are contributing to socio-economic downturn and increasing poverty levels in our society. The world needs healing indeed.
King David of old wished he had wings like a dove to fly in order to be in peace when he experienced trials and storms from a close friend and other adversaries.
“And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.” (Psalm 55:6)
Just like David, so many people and communities are seeking rest from pain, depression and all forms of conflicts. While these conflicts emerge from within and outside us, we need to fly like a dove daily – preventing, mitigating or deescalating these conflicts and live to make the world a better place for all of us. We all have the mandate of the United Nations to keep peace – pursuing inner peace and peaceful co-existence.
Why fly like a Dove?
I have used the word ‘fly’ as a metaphor for a quick, deliberate and conscious move. It should be a quick and conscious move to keep peace because any delay might lead to consequences better imagined than experienced. So, flying like a dove is a quick intentional move to embrace peace. Many people would prefer to soar on eagles’ wings to be at the top, but there is a need for us to complement our moves on doves’ wings to prevent a crash. Matshona Dhliwayo observed that, “A dove struggling in a storm grows stronger than an eagle soaring in sunshine.”
Doves are common small birds that belong to the family of pigeon and celebrated as a symbol of peace. There are about 300 species of doves with special features of rounded bodies, long wings, tail feathers, small heads and pointed bills (Pet Keen, 2022). The white doves have significant characteristics of purity, healing, loving kindness, loyalty, trustworthiness, friendliness and messenger of hope and peace. Little wonder a dove symbolized the Holy Spirit during Jesus’ water baptism (see Matthew 4) and was used as a messenger of hope and peace to Noah and other occupants of the ark during the world’s first flood (see Genesis 8). A dove-type person is loyal, sociable, nice, gentle and motivated by democratic processes while disliking insecurity, conflict, controversy and unhealthy competition.
Therefore, we need to rise on doves’ wings to be at rest. However, aside from developing our peace-building wings or skills, we need the prince of peace – Jesus Christ, in our heart and a renewed Christ-like mind in order to have inner peace and to follow peace with people. Jesus Christ is inviting us to come to Him and He will give us rest. The Spirit of God in a believer is always in the business of causing peace to reign. We need to partner with God – Jehovah Shalom, to heal the world; making it a better place for you and for me.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2nd Chronicles 7:14)
So, if you are yet to invite Jesus into your heart, say this prayer: Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I receive You as my Lord and Savior; I believe that You came, died for me and rose again to save me. I declare that I am born again. Conform me to Your likeness. Give me inner peace and make me a peacemaker. Amen! Congratulations! I urge you to continually fly like a dove.
(Culled from Flying like a Dove by Sunday Omori)