In April 2002, I was sitting in this cavernous waiting room at King’s Cross in London, England. I was waiting for a bus to Cambridge, UK. I sat all alone, and stared at the tiled floor at my feet. The doctors had warned me not to travel alone, but I had disregarded their restrictions. I was taking several psych meds and felt somewhat stronger than I had in months.
As I sat there staring at the floor, within my field of vision, came several pigeons. They were fat little guys, apparently thriving on bread thrown out to them. Several very large windows were open, and these pigeons seem to have no fear as they took advantage of a meal from bored travelers. I remember their audacity and resourcefulness as they came up just a couple of feet from my chair.
Depression had followed me like an old friend all the way from Alaska to England. I had pushed my limits and was completely drained and quite confused. I was crying out to the Lord, very desperately. All of a sudden, a pigeon came across the floor and “presented” himself, right square in front of me. I was amazed that he was crippled, one of his feet was a twisted claw. He had been profoundly injured in such a way, that he would never be the same. He was damaged, and yet somehow he survived.
It was like receiving a lightning bolt. I understood for the first time in a long time, the Father’s love and care over me. I saw the pigeon, and I saw myself. It was a moment of a reassuring grace. In the ‘mega-hustle’ of 13,614,409 people in London, and in the midst of my profound mental crisis, I knew God’s caring touch. A grace much greater than all my sin and confusion. He was just letting me know that He was close.
Later that day, I found myself walking the streets of a busy Cambridge with its great universities. I was all by myself, and I had gotten hopelessly lost. I was terribly manic, and my meds just couldn’t keep the lid on. I felt people staring at me, I was talking out loud to myself, disheveled and thoroughly confused. I just kept wandering and talking, for hours. I desperately needed psychiatric shelter. But I was all alone. I knew no one at all.
I kept walking past the many universities, and churches. They were very beautiful, but I was lost. I then remembered the damaged pigeon, completely oblivious to self pity. I started to call out to the Father out of my confusion. Within a few minutes I found myself sitting on the top level of a double-decker bus, with the driver aware of my problems who specifically guided me to the place I was staying. I was being cared for. I think he was an angel sent to my aid.
I have come to realize that this trip to England was not for me to see Big Ben, Parliament or wander the academic centers of Cambridge University. Rather I was brought there to meet a certain pigeon, who was waiting to meet me, and pass on vital instructions. He shared things that I need to know. The history and landmarks were nice, but I’ve forgotten much. But all I really needed was somehow given.
P.S. Two things:
If you can avoid it, don’t travel alone.
Never call pigeons, “rats, with wings.”