"Wings like a dove"

Could any passage be quoted as stronger evidence of the universal appeal of the Psalms than the familiar lines, "Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest"? Probably every pilgrim on earth would at some time respond to the sad yearning of that human cry. But whither would the tired wanderer go? The ancients conceived of the Islands of the Blessed, beyond the limits of their narrow world, away in the extreme west, where surcease from trouble could be found. The weary one of to-day pictures, perhaps, some verdant spot in southern seas, where, he thinks, frost and blight never come and nature provides its bounties in generous profusion.

But a far better answer to that wistful longing is to be found in the same remarkable collection of sacred poems. "Whither," asks the Psalmist, "shall I flee from thy presence? ... If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me." The immortal truth of the omnipresence of God is here declared, and that is surely the answer to the human craving for a change of location, for brighter vistas and happier surroundings. No physical transportation is necessary to gain this boon. On the wings of understanding and clear-eyed faith we can rise above the sordidness of material things and find the sunshine of God's presence flooding our way with gladness.

Love's Way
January 17, 1931

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