Usually, I associate pigeons with city life and the parking lots that make up most of the landscape not allocated for buildings. Instead, my pigeon decided to come to the country where there are no other pigeons and many other birds that would love to prey upon any defenseless city dweller that encroaches their territory. There was purpose in the destination the pigeon chose, but I didn’t fully understand why until a few days later.
There have been many things that have come to my yard including abandoned, soon to be momma cats that need a safe place to have a litter. This is comical to my friends and family because I have no affinity for cats or even birds other than live and let live. For the few animals who make their presence known to me, by coming to my kitchen door, I pay attention and somehow the two of us manage to communicate. The pigeon came to my back porch and eventually to the door. It needed help and all I know to do is give food, water and protection from predators. Each night the pigeon slept on the lowest eve of the porch and then during the day she stayed as close as possible to the door and porch. Eventually, I held her in my hands and it cooed and I talked and sang to her. She had a mate that perched upon the roof, watching and observing the care she received. I meant to take photos of him. He stayed with us for several days until we had our roof replaced which is another story about the storms of life and the bumps and bruises that happen.
On her last day with me, she perched in the water bowl I set out for her and seemed alert. A few hours after this photo, I noticed her mate right beside her on the ground. My pigeon must have had some bumps and bruises that I couldn’t see. She was dying. Curiously, her last breath occurred with her neck stretched upwards. Her fellow pigeon stayed near her so I left her for a few hours so that he could grieve. I wrapped her in a cloth and buried her next to Reba (my chicken).
After hanging out on top of the chicken coop, the mate made his way into the chicken run and eventually inside the chicken coop. I feel guilty because I didn’t know if this was a healthy situation for the chickens and the girls didn’t care much for the intrusion so I kept chasing him out of their domain. When the roofers came, and stayed for three days, he left and hasn’t come back. There are some who believe that animals will not be with us in eternity. God does not specifically say in His Word that our pets will be with us in Heaven or not. However, the scripture says, “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?” (Matthew 6:26)
Death has been knocking all around me these past years enough to get me to tally all the losses. Counting from my earliest recollection: My young uncle who died in a fishing accident, my grandfather, my young uncle due to medical malpractice, my brother who was killed by a drunk driver, my mother to cancer, my sister to cancer, my uncle to old age and there were others in between who meant much to me and others. Their absence from this life still causes me to grieve.
Death has become a part of me so much so that I can say that I understand and embrace the hope of Heaven beyond my own understanding. There are many religions that promise different things in the after life. Yet, there is no other religion that gives us the hope of eternity shared with our loved ones as was revealed to John and promised to us as believers:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:1-5
One sure fact that we all face is D-E-A-T-H. Atheists, Agnostics and all believers of any religion will die. There is no escaping it. The question we must ask is, “If there is an eternity, where will I spend it?”
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16