Posted by: Darrell Johnson | July 8, 2009

lessons from lefty

One of my favorite places to go to at Jeff St. during the day is the “butt-hut,” which is a carport that gives shade to some benches, chairs, and a picnic table out back in the parking lot. It’s a great place to talk with folks, be still & silent, get away from the sun, and for some it’s a smoker’s sanctuary. And as an added bonus, one gets to enjoy some good ole bird-watching; by birds I mean pigeons and by watching I mean they watch you, because that is their turf and they know it.

Earlier today I was sitting in the “butt-hut” talking with some of the guys and I couldn’t help but notice one pigeon in particular, that had only one leg, a left leg. Now I’ve seen this bird before in passing and I’ve even been told its name…by the way it’s Lefty, for obvious reasons…but it wasn’t until today that I began to realize that Lefty was a loner. The bird didn’t move like the rest of the pack…I’ve heard and read that we can learn a lot from birds and I can agree with that to some degree. I watched how Lefty adapted; the bird seemed to be exerting more energy having only one leg and in turn needed to rest more in the shade of an SUV parked out back. After a minute or two of rest in the shade, Lefty would get up and hop around to the next bite of bread or popcorn (which some of the guys provide on a daily basis). So what does a pigeon with one leg have to do with anything of importance?

Well as believers in Jesus we are called to stand out in a sense. No, we’re not supposed to hop around on one leg and avoid people entirely or fly around and poop on cars for that matter (that would be VERY weird and I guess VERY illegal/inconsiderate). But as believers (or better yet, followers) of Jesus we are called to press on when hard times tempt us to give up. Sometimes it’s rather difficult to be patient with all the different personalities that God puts in my life, and typically this just reveals my own sin by not striving to seek Christ and find His patience that He made evident with those whom He encountered. A friend of mine back home told me that he could never do what we, the HOPE team, do. It’s not because that what we do here at Jeff St. is such a difficult thing, as a matter of fact compared to some other ministries/service opportunities we’ve got it pretty good. Instead, some people aren’t called to this type of thing, just like some people aren’t called to the pulpit to preach on Sunday mornings like my friend back home. But whatever it is that God has called us to do I pray that we remember to not get comfortable in the “norm.” But rather persevere and not become prideful of being on one leg (figuratively speaking, of course).

Another thought about Lefty, had he/she not been a one legged pigeon then we wouldn’t notice it…we wouldn’t give it a name nor keep watch on how it moves about. Sounds a lot like a Christ follower to me; if we weren’t, then people wouldn’t dub us as such nor would they keep watch on how we act. Who would have thought that you could learn or think about so much…just by observing birds. I guess Darwin wasn’t the only one after all.

Oh LORD, guide us all.

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