One morning when my alarm clock rang I woke to a dream that seemed meaningful, but I couldn’t figure out what the meaning was. So I closed my eyes and stayed in bed to have a chance to ponder it before running about my day. Usually I can get away with that trick, but that morning I woke about 53 minutes later. But when I walked into the bathroom, the interpretation of my dream came to me.
The dream: I was looking out the window of a house, watching a white pigeon come in to land in the driveway. Just before it landed, rather than doing the “braking” of holding its wings out to slow itself down, it did a couple very slow, weak flaps. Then it held its feet out to land, but just before it landed, its feet clenched up. So it landed on its “knuckles” without proper braking, and instead of a graceful landing, it rolled. I knew it had died as it landed. But as I watched it continue to roll, I saw that now about half of the pigeon was dead bird, half was pages of print. “Then I awoke, and knew it was a dream.”
Though a white wild pigeon is rather rare, it is the same thing as the symbolic white dove—symbol of the Holy Spirit. So the interpretation that occurred to me—very appropriate for those who work of us in Christian publishing—is “the Spirit brings life, but the letter kills.” That’s backward from 2 Corinthians 3:6, in which it is phrased “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” The letter (the law) is supposed to come first, and once it has shown our true state of death, the Spirit offers life in Christ.