Friday, 21 December 2012

Two Turtle Doves

I was at my folks place for dinner a few weeks back. While my ma was working away in the kitchen she handed me the last of a loaf of homemade bread and asked me to feed the doves who were wandering around on the deck outside.
“Just hold it in your hands, like this,” she said with her arms out wide on either side, “and they’ll come to you.”
Like any good daughter I did as I was told. I wooed the two turtle doves by speaking gently, moving slowly, and making cooing noises in the back of my mouth. They perched on my wrists and pecked from my hands. I was pleased.
My parents have this wonderful habit of welcoming strays and vagabonds into their midst; cats, dogs, birds, boys. These doves were no different. Nobody knows where they’ve come from, or where they return to when the day is done, but their presence outside the kitchen window is refreshing.
As I stood there with my hands full of bread and birds I sang to myself, “on the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me two turtle doves…” I pondered Christmas and the coming of Christ in our midst. I wondered at the way that God, in the Christ-child, spoke gently by moving slowly and making cooing noises in the back of his mouth. Wooing us and welcoming us into God’s family with open hands and outstretched arms, strays and vagabonds with a place to stay, a place to belong, a place to love and be loved.
Welcome home. Christ is coming. Merry Christmas.

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