11The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth.... to flourish on the Earth." ~ Genesis 8:11
It was this passage in Genesis that provided me with my first glimpse of hope and understanding over the tragic loss of my sister in February 2009. An olive branch? Yes.
You see, most all of us have heard the story of Noah's Ark. You know, when God sent rain. Lots and lots of rain. Flooding the entire earth. Only Noah and his family survived, living in their ark, for 40 days and 40 nights. Talk about depressing. The whole earth, dead. Nothing. No beautiful mountain tops, no gorgeous rolling fields of flowers, no beautiful people of different cultures... nothing but rain and stormy seas. Where was life? Would there ever be life again for Noah and his family?
I can imagine, because for me, the month of February in 2009, and weeks to follow, resmebled a different type of flood. A flood in which I was drowning in shock, sorrow and saddness unable to see, nor experience life as I had known it to be.
It was when I stumbled upon this verse, a few weeks following February 7, that I caught a small glimpse of true hope. You see, it was the first I truly understood that the olive branch the Dove brought back to Noah, after the 40 days of torrential rain, symbolized that new life was not far from them. Duh, right? Noah could begin to see that he would have the opportunity to experience life as he had known it to be, once again.
I know I had heard that story hundreds of times since I was a little girl, but you see, that olive branch symbolized so much more to me now... it was the first time I realized that true redemption meant that Christ was going to redeem our world from the 'flood' of sin... the sin that took my sister from me too soon. That olive branch symbolized to me that life with my sister, as I had known it to be, was not as far off as I had imagined.
Redemption shined its face once through a dove and small branch off an olive tree giving Noah hope.
Redemption. God is redeeming our sinful world, and one day, will swollow up death completely and I will experience life with my sister as I had known it to be. Thank God for that Olive Branch.
July 7, 2009, just 5 months after my sister's passing, I had a dove and olive branch engraved on my left foot, with my sisters name below... reminding me of what's promised.