Can You Train a Pigeon?

As I sit at my desk, glancing out the window…

… I am struck by the beautiful view that has been my view since we moved out of London.

I am first to admit that I generally don’t want nature in my home, but I love our view and there is a time when I would play outside, climbing trees and would even go camping.

But our lives have changed, allergies have changed us, we no longer have those completely carefree days of childhood. No, we’re grownups now and so… we work.

In my view I see birds flying about, squirrels eating all of the seeds we put out for the birds, and the occasional cat. Less occasional we see pheasants, deer, foxes, and badgers.

We have lots of Magpies, black ones and the prettier, but slightly cartoonish looking, brown ones.

But we also have… pigeons. Mourning Doves, Turtle Doves… call them what you like, we British like to name them different names depending upon their size, but nomenclaturally they are the same as the pigeon.

Wood pigeons are not known for their brilliance. No one needed to tell me that and I didn’t read it in a book. But I know.

Firstly, they are round bellied with tiny heads so when they fly they look like an overloaded aeroplane out of control.

Then, upon landing on a tree branch, they basically just sort of crash into the tree, randomly.

Depending up how they land after that, they sort of just cling to the branch with their feet.

Sometimes, though, the branch they end up on is most unsuitable for their size and they sort of just bob up and down as the branch struggles to hold them up. Keep in mind, they aren’t particularly thin birds.

At times they kind of hang upside down before they fall as though if they just hold on they will sway back up.

They often bump into each other when landing since you know… no one has any sort of navigation system on board. And. They do this

I sit here thinking how completely unintelligent they are when it dawns on me. We aren’t that different, are we?

We all sort of bumble through life, aimlessly, even with best laid plans, hoping to land on a branch that will hold us… But more times than we care to admit, we grasp tightly to one entirely too small to hold our weight and swing around hoping that when we, the pendulum, stops, we will somehow be upright, on our feet.

I imagine that this is a pretty accurate elucidation of what God sees when He looks at us.

Even our best laid plans bring us spectacular failure. We need a branch strong enough to hold us as we are desperate to keep from completely falling.

We think we are so ‘evolved’ that we can navigate through this life, entirely independent. But what is wisdom to man is foolishness to God. He knows we will fail, time and time again.

God knew this about us. In fact, He lovingly made His plans entirely based around this. He gave us THE branch, the one that will hold us. In fact, He gave us an entire tree. Calvary.

I think the following song is a beautiful representation of just what God was saying to us when He sent His Son to die for us. He did it all out of a love that we may never understand but we can surely know.

In letters of crimson,

God wrote His love

On the hillside so long, long ago;

For you and for me Jesus died,

And love’s greatest story was told.

I love you,

I love you

That’s what Calvary said;

I love you,

I love you,

I love you, written in red.

Down through the ages, God wrote His love

With the same hands that suffered and bled;

He was giving all he had to give, A message so easily read.

I love you, I love you That’s what Calvary said;

I love you,

I love you,

I love you, written in red.

I love you,

I love you…

I love you, written in red.

“We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4.19

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29.11

“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”
Jeremiah 31.3

Written in Red

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