Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Pigeons

When you look at a Christmas painting, there's often a white dove or two somewhere hanging out in the rafters of the stable as little baby Jesus rests in the manger.

Something like this...

...they're kinda hiding up there off to the right.

Being that its in my blog's name, I thought it might be interesting to see things from the pigeons' perspective.

(Please note: this wouldn't be exactly the same as what those artists are often trying to representatively depict: the Holy Spirit's presence at the birth. What I'll be playing with is the viewpoints of an ACTUAL pigeons... something that's probably been done before, I know.)

It certainly was an interesting few days for us. But neither of us would have it any other way. There are TONS of people crowding the streets in Bethlehem for some reason these days! You barely have to leave the roost to find something to eat. Which makes life easy for us pigeons.
As if life wasn't easy enough already. Its pretty comfortable when you've found a stable to live in that doesn't have any other birds to contend with. We've got it MADE! No chickens pecking us, no geese honking anytime we land near the feed box, landing near this place was the best decision ever.

The animals are all big and well-fed, their human wants to keep them and all their guests happy... I suppose he feels like its his job. They run what they call an "Inn" here. Animals will come for a day or two and then be on their way with their humans in tow. The oldest Ox told us that we're welcome to stay too, but he's curious that we'd come on our own without humans. We try to keep our talk sweet and on the quiet side... they let us eat from their mangers after all. Their human has taken a liking to us too, its nice to be cared for instead of brushed aside.

With all these extra people in town, I guess the animals had to open their doors to some humans as well. The Ox gave us all a firm talking to about "extra manners" and "stall etiquette" for while the human guests were at our Inn. Turns out this isn't a regular occurrence, but none of us minded - in fact these humans were even nicer than our usual man!

They were very kind and gracious to the animals for letting them stay, yet they seemed troubled. Our human kept coming back and forth with his wife to check on them and bring things to them, for a while there was quite a commotion! Everyone seemed very glad afterwards, though.

We realized pretty late at night that we birds hadn't eaten anything all day, in light of all the fuss. So we went down and landed on the usual feedbox that always seems to have something left for us, and there He was! A little human, all wrapped up and fast asleep!

That made us nervous! Whenever we got close to little ones in the past they'd either try to catch us or someone would swat us away, but the female human saw us and seemed to think it nice that we had arrived. She spoke quietly to us with a sort of happiness that we'd never heard a human share with an animal, and as we looked at the baby you could understand why.

There was something special about this human. It was almost as if He was more than all the others. Loud men came to see Him and were reverent, quiet old women asked to see Him and held Him like a treasure. All the animals were honored to watch over Him, and we agreed we would do whatever was neccessary for this, "our" child.

The next night, our human made space in his inn for the little family - but we continued to see them regularly. Apparently they were to stay in Bethlehem for a while, so the man began to help care for us in order to help pay for their stay at the inn. The kind woman whispered to us, as she held "our" child, that they hadn't really brought enough money to stay as long as they needed to, and the taxes had been more than expected. But she loved walking out to us for some quiet time with the baby, and we loved talking back to her and the child in our sweetest coos.

A few days later, the donkey that had brought these people with him told us that they were going to head out for Jerusalem for the day and come back shortly. Apparently there was some job to take care of... 'sacrifice' he called it. As the little family untied the donkey, we saw that they seemed sad. The two of us pigeons flew down to see if we could cheer them up.

"The Lord will provide... ?" said the man.

"No, we couldn't!" said our friend, the woman. "These are our friends!"

The terror and pain of their need made us realize just what 'sacrifice' meant to a couple of birds. Yet, as we looked and cooed at "our" child, it seemed the least we could do to welcome such a child as this. We perched ourselves firmly next to the little one and settled in to make our intentions obvious.

Our animal friends said "farewell" to us, and the old Ox told us he was jealous of our blessed task. And so we rode to Jerusalem with the family, freely and uncaged. There was rejoicing with "our" child and praises to God in our throats. It certainly had been an interesting few days for us. But neither of us would have it any other way - than to accompany Jesus on His first trip to Jerusalem!

1 comment:

Karen said...

You totally got me. I didn't see it coming that the dove friends watching from the rafters were going to be the doves sacrificed at the temple. Nice writing.

The White Pigeon Hope - Seeking to "Normalize" the work of the Holy Spirit since 2008.