The Pigeon and the Pothole
By Craig von Buseck
CBN.com Contributing Writer
What a disgusting scene I witnessed one day. Right outside the door of
our church a small pothole was developing. Some people don't notice potholes until
they are large enough to cause alignment problems. Normally I don't either, but
this one was slowly expanding in a precarious place. Being the associate pastor,
my job was to make sure that everything was in order around our building. A pothole
right outside the door was definitely out of order, no matter how small.
alley separated the church from the temple of grease that stood next door (also
known as McDonald's). As I walked out the door and into this alley, I noticed
an animal drinking the run-off water from our air-conditioning unit out of this
small pothole. This was not just any animal, mind you; it was a fowl (I use this word intentionally)
found mostly in urban areas.
I believe the scientific name for this bird is
As a teen I conducted a cold war against pigeons that sometimes
flared into all-out combat. My parents' home, all-be-it a nice place to live,
had one glaring flaw. The architect must have had a fondness for birds because
the house was built with gables that, to a pigeon, looked like a flashing "for
Now for any of you animal-lovers out there, let me digress.
These are not the clean, quiet tweety-birds that you see in the pet store or on
cartoons (let me digress further, we used to have a beautiful cockatiel and he
was not completely clean -- and was by no means quiet). These are dirty pigeons, and they are, in many
ways, gross. They enjoy leaving packages that most people don't want to receive.
They squawk continuously. My bedroom was in the attic and I had to listen to them
reading beddy-bye stories to their children at all hours of the night.
to say, they were unwelcome guests.
As I walked out the door of the church
that day, my mind, being renewed by the washing of the water of God's Word, uttered
a loud and succinct "yuck!"
Suddenly, from within my heart came conviction.
I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit gently whisper, "This is My creation."
I replied, "but it is obviously still under the darkest part of the curse."
knew God wanted to show me something in this. Isn't it funny how God can set up
a scene in the strangest of places to reveal something about Himself? Despite
my sarcasm, the thought from the throne continued. "I even make sure the pigeons
are taken care of."
I smiled at the mercy of God. His love for this animal
was truly beyond my comprehension. "Thank you, Jesus," I thought, and continued
with my day.
The next day the Lord weaved a similar thought through my heart.
One of the ugliest places in any city is that area where the train tracks converge
with the dump. As I passed over the railroad crossing in this section
of town that day I noticed that small trees and wildflowers were emerging from every section
of exposed earth. It struck me that through all of the garbage, God's
creation was pushing its way toward the sunshine.
All around was the ugliness
of abandoned factories, rusting metal, and garbage. Yet in the midst of man's depravity,
God's restoration process was taking place -- almost without notice. Left to itself this area would eventually be overgrown with plant life. In time the metal would rust away, and all that would be left would be a beautiful forest.
I sensed the presence of the Lord. He was revealing His nature to me in simple
ways. I'm glad that God makes it simple for me, because that's the only way my "lightning fast" mind can comprehend
the Kingdom of Heaven.
After these two encounters with the Creator I began thinking about the nature of God. Jesus began His
earthly ministry by reading from Isaiah the prophet. This portion of Scripture
declares to the world God's intention in sending His Son into this fallen world:
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's
favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide
for those who grieve in Zion -- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of
ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning (Isaiah 61:1b-3a, NIV).
Through these natural scenes the Lord was showing me His heart of compassion. If He could provide a cool
drink for a pigeon, and bring forth beautiful plant life from an ugly dump, just
think of the wonderful things He could do in my life to heal my hurts and transform
me into His image.
You may feel like your life has become like that dump. Perhaps
the wounds of broken relationships, unkept promises, unfulfilled dreams, and unmet expectations
have made you feel dirty, and undesirable. Maybe you think there is no way that
life could ever be beautiful and new again.
Let me tell you, there is hope
in Jesus Christ.
I have good news! There is a unique purpose for each person
living here on Earth. Like Queen Esther of old, you were born for such a time
as this. God has programmed each one of us with a special destiny that can only
be fulfilled through relationship with Him.
Just as John's book of Revelation
is winding down we receive a precious promise from Jesus Himself concerning our
And God will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will
be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has
passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, 'I am making everything new!
(Revelation 21:4-5a NIV).
While Jesus is speaking in this passage of the final victory after He returns to Earth, I believe that the promises of God's Kingdom can
also be obtained today for those who believe.
Our Lord is a God of restoration.
If you have tears in your eyes, let Him dry them. If you have tasted death, let
Jesus bring abundant life. If you are full of sorrow, let Him turn your mourning
into dancing. If you are crying, let Him dry your eyes.
God will take away
your pain -- if you let Him. And like His creation pushing up through the trash,
He wants to make all things new.
Remember, from potholes He cares enough to
give the pigeons a drink. How much more will He take care of one of His children!
If you want to experience God's
freedom in your life pray this simple prayer with me:
I come to you in Jesus' name. I know that I am a sinner and need your forgiveness.
I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give
me life. I know You are the only way to God so now I want to quit disobeying You
and start living for You. Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to
know You. In Jesus' name. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer, please send
us an e-mail to let us know. Or you can call The 700 Club Prayer Counseling Center
at (800) 759-0700. We would love to talk with you and send you some
literature to help you begin your walk with the Lord.
more about living for Jesus
you have a question? E-mail a CBN counselor
von Buseck is Director of Ministries for CBN.com. Send
him your comments on this article.
articles and interviews by Craig von Buseck
Check out Craig's ChurchWatch Blog on CBN.com
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