And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. – Genesis 8:11
It’s common knowledge that we hold out an olive branch these days by doing or saying something in order to show that we want to end a season of disagreement with someone.
When Noah’s ark had floated around on the flood waters for such a long time, he sent a dove out to see if the waters had subsided enough for them to leave the ark. As we know, the dove came back with an olive branch, so Noah knew it was safe to open the doors of the ark and let everyone out.
We’ve been holding out olive branches to each other since then. As we apologize, make concessions and sometimes even bend over backwards, we hold the olive branch out to others.
As you can imagine, the olive branch is lightweight (after all, it was carried by a dove). How ironic that this humble branch should represent peace and forgiveness. The next time you feel the need to hold out an olive branch, think of the word fragile. The olive branch is as delicate as the forgiveness it represents.
Peace and forgiveness are worth the effort. Along with prayer and the use of magic words like please and thank you, hold out the olive branch with a humble heart. Even if the other person does not take the branch from your hand immediately, just make it known that you have brought it, then lay it down on the ground, turn and walk away. When they’re ready, they will pick it up. Keep praying for them. God will make all things new in His time. 🙂