“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
I first took notice of the pigeons as I sat on a hard wooden bench, waiting at a bus stop in Fiji. The day was hot, a breeze not yet noticeable. The sun was shining lustrously and the sky was filled with cotton candy clouds. The gravel of the road was broken and dusty and I found my eyes mindlessly drift to the pigeons that had gathered there. Since that afternoon, I find myself noticing the pesky birds nearly everywhere I go. What’s worse, I’m finding how embarrassingly similar I am to them.
Think of the pigeons. They abandon the trees and sky and resort to searching under tables for leftovers. They peck at the pavement as if they might find something there that will satisfy. Although the vastness above is waiting, they are preoccupied with scraps. Thinking this is their only chance to be fed. With the full expanse of the sky as their playground, why are they here? The gravel doesn’t nourish. It never will. It couldn’t, even if it tried. But still, they gather, pecking at the crumbs dropped carelessly as people pass by without notice.
Could it be any different than this? Could there be more? Don’t they know that their Maker will feed them? Don’t they know that they were meant to fly? This life in the gravel is a shallow excuse for freedom.
I used to think that the birds must have it all together. What could they possibly worry about? They can go anywhere at anytime, answering to no one. They need not worry about where they work or what they earn. They haven’t a concern for education and never fear if their degree will be high enough to earn their dream job. Instead, they sing. They celebrate in worship as they soar from one tree to another, across open fields of lilies and sunflowers, around mountains and up waterfalls.
But it’s to the pigeons, gathered on the dusty streets, that I feel I can relate. Because maybe, just maybe, they doubt sometimes, too. Maybe they find themselves here because they question whether or not their Maker will feed them in the sky. As I watch them, I’m made painfully aware of my own lack of trust.
THEY MISS THE FREEDOM THAT THEY WERE CREATED FOR IN FEARING THAT THEY WON’T HAVE WHAT THEY NEED.
So I try with all my might to make them fly away and enjoy what is waiting for them in the expanse above. I want to shout, “Go! You’ll find what you need, I promise. Don’t waste your time down here!”
But truly, those words are more for us than for the birds.
Sweet child, He sees you. And He loves you more than the birds that fly high above. He has promised to provide all you need. You’re missing what you’re made for as you peddle on the broken road.
Stop scrounging in the gravel looking for someone else’s leftovers. Abandon the thought that you won’t have what you need unless you find it yourself. A feast awaits you when you, as you were made to do, soar.