I’ve been looking for something to “nudge” me into my next Haven’s Ideals post. There have been multiple negative events (family life as well as career path) and positive events (retuning to worship as the pandemic wares down as well as a phenomenal and blessed trip to Daytona Beach, Florida and Disney World)for multiple blog entries to flourish, but apathy and laziness got the best of me. I was needing something quick and spiritually uplifting for a catalyst. I had no idea it would take a MOURNING DOVE to prompt me to write.
It was awesome. This summer, the Topgolf driving range which also has a Putt Putt course has FREE PUTT PUTT on Mondays. So, after a set of summer showers and threatening thundershowers, the Caylor-Browns headed to Topgolf in East Ridge Tennessee for a round of Putt Putt. About the 9th hole I saw some ground movement out of the corner of my eye from the courses wooden fence. I looked down to see a mourning dove strutting / meandering under the fence. I smiled and kept on putting. As we were putting close to the driving range, I kept hearing the soothing call of a mourning dove. I glanced to my right, and there sat that dove. It would not budge. To the aggravation of Sean, Ammon, and Carter, I kept talking and paying attention to the dove. So I could get on with the round and paying attention to the scoring that I was keeping, I quickly got my iPhone and videoed the dove. Yes, the sound a mourning dove makes is lonesome and mournful, but like the white dove that is a symbol of peace, the mourning dove is a symbol of peace, love, and faith.
Happy or sad, elated with prayers of praise or melancholy with deep thoughts and questioning prayers, I hope and pray God will send you something from nature such as a song bird or a soothing sunrise/sunset, or a comforting breeze that touches your spirit to God’s Spirit. That sweet, tranquil, and friendly mourning dove that you can barely see yet hear quite clearly in my video has given me a spiritual strength I haven’t had in weeks or perhaps months to continue boldly into the future leaning on Jesus’ ever lasting arms.
My most memorable and spiritual experience while we were in Ephesus was at the house of Mary the mother of Jesus. It is a very small church that still has services. We did not have a service there, but we were allowed to enter and pass through. The five of us were just about all that could fit at one time, and we passed through quite quickly. However, while I passed through, I felt such happiness and peace, and it dawned on me that this lady DESERVED the happiness and peace she experienced the last years of her life.
She had lost her husband, Joseph. When her eldest son was 33, he was crucified for no reason yet rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. She knew since before his immaculate conception that he was the son of God, but can you imagine how she watched this miracle that she bore live, die, be resurrected, and ascend into heaven with such anxiety? After helping establish the church in Acts 1:14, she and the Christians in Jerusalem were persecuted, so John, her son appointed by Jesus, took her away to finally end up in Ephesus.
It is there that she died peacefully. I did not say a word how I felt the day I was at her house to ANYONE except to God through prayer. However, several evenings later, Sean and I were jogging. We reflected back to Ephesus, and while we were jogging on the deck of the Star Princess, Sean said, “You know I had such peace while we walked through Mary’s house!” I grinned and said, “You know, so did I!” Coincidence folks? No, it’s the Holy spirit working through the believers and followers of Jesus Christ, the son Mary bore.
In July of 1990, a friend of mine, Kim Legg, an American who
I met at the University of Madrid in Madrid, Spain asked me if I wanted to
accompany her to shop for some Lladró. If you don´t know, Lladró is porcelain
that is made exclusively in Valencia, Spain. It is also world renown. In 1990,
I had NEVER heard of Lladró, but I told Kim, “Sure. I will go and learn.” I
didn’t find any that I liked that day nor did I see any I wanted to buy until I
returned to Spain in 2000. It was then that I bought several pieces. I plan to
show my first and most important piece this coming Sunday.
The Father’s Day of 2008 Carter and Ammon were still
gestating. However, Sean and I bought each other a Father’s Day gift when we
were in New York City. It was two pieces of Lladró (both the same piece) by the
name “Fatherhood”. Both of them are placed on our mantle, and it is a constant reminder of how God blessed me to be a father. I am in constant prayer that I will not let Him down.
In the next few weeks, I want to share some of my most treasured Lladró pieces with you. I hope you enjoy them.