Kereru are the New Zealand native wood pigeon. If you've read some older posts of mine (http://howard-carter.blogspot.com/2010/08/mezuzah-your-world.html) you'll know that for me they have become a symbol of the presence of the Holy Spirit's in my life. As a pigeon they are of course in the dove family and in scripture the dove is a symbol for the presence of the Holy Spirit. The ancient Celtic monks used to use the wild goose as a contextualised symbol (as there were not many doves on the rugged coastlines of Ireland and Scotland), as they did seem to our forebears in the faith to embody the idea of the Spirit articulated in John 3: 8 "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” Interestingly enough in New Zealand one of the most distinct sounds of wings is the Kereru. You don't know where it has come from or where it is going but you hear it as it passes by.
In Dunedin where we lived for three years, Kereru kept turning up at opportune moments. Moments and places where I just couldn't help but realise they were there as what Leonard Sweet calls "Nudges") > Times when God was trying to get my attention. There was I time I was depressed and wondering if God had abandoned me ( training for the ministry can be a bit like that sometimes) I looked out my window only to see three Kereru sitting on the power lines on the power lines outside looking in at me. A real trinitarian moment. another time I was grumbling and praying and worrying about financial matters (being a stundet with four kids) and I looked up and saw a Kereru on the power lines with it's head under its wings asleep in the sun and sensed what Adrian Plass calls 'that disturbing voice at the back of my mind I equate with the voice of God' say... " Is that how you see me Howard? Asleep in the sun? Disinterested?" and of course the words of Psalm 121:4 came to mind " indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." "point taken" I replied. Another time I was sharing with a Student in the Quad at Otago University in a conversation about the gospel and I heard the flap of Kereru wings and looked up to see a Kereru land on a tree in the middle of the crowded quad and look down at us, as if saying this is a God moment. I could go on and often do.