If you read last week’s blog … on the way home…you will remember our pigeon was out for the day. After being here, resting for four days, we assumed he was on his way home… NOT. Walter, as Tom had named him by now—(some of you will remember Walter Pigeon, the actor…an old one!) returned to us late afternoon on Thursday, and the scenario was the same on Friday…
Saturday morning, Walter would not leave the shop: no amount of nudging or prodding persuaded him to fly out the opened shop door. I made a call to Mr. Edwards, the breeder in Pennsylvania, who called his owner in Meridianville, Alabama. They asked if we would be so kind as to trap him and take him down the road about five or ten miles in the direction of ‘home’. Both were sure he would arrive safely. Mr. Edwards promised to let me know when Walter arrived home.
We didn’t go five miles, or ten; we went the nineteen miles … almost one third of the way toward Walter’s home. Tom released him, he flew back under the vehicle just long enough to get his bearings. Away he soared… for home. We thought…
Sunday morning I received a text saying the bird had not made it home; I was so sad. At about the same time I looked out and said, “Tom, I think our bird is back.” Tom said, “No way; he has no training or homing instinct in returning here. But that does look like a pigeon!” It was… our Walter!! In the pouring rain, our homing pigeon had found his way to us and was now under Tom’s truck. In the same pouring rain, barefoot, I opened the shed; he immediately took his place on his roosting post.
The breeder is a bit astounded with this. He says that Walter as a young bird either became scared by a hawk or was in some way distracted; in a few days with shelter, food, water, he has reoriented himself to Miller Lane as “home”. I mentioned, “He has responded to love.” Mr. Edwards roared with laughter. Evidently, a bird is not known to respond to love. Tom keeps telling me, “Barb, this is only a bird.”
Whether it was a hawk or bad weather, this racing pigeon will never race again. He will never soar to the glorious heights he was designed to do. Today, Walter is no longer a free bird… Why? He would most likely return to us if he were to enter another homing pigeon race. As a result of his choice to find safety in a good place, he must suffer those consequences. He will be used for breeding purposes as he is from good stock. Of course, he is! He knew to find home here with love!
I am almost too close to this situation to make spiritual applications. You will need to decide which lessons to learn from this. I love the lesson of providing rest and comfort for someone who needs the space. Maybe there is a lesson that often we “help” someone too much —a child, a friend , a brother. What happens when they become dependent on us?
Is it possible that sometimes we are on the wrong journey? And we choose another ‘stopover’ that is the right one? And we love that person who encouraged and pointed us toward ‘home’… our permanent home.
Or maybe the only lesson to learn is from the previous blog… “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God… and live a life of love…” Ephesians 4:32, 5:1
Loving pigeons and people…