knobby pigeon feet

Okay so I just looked up the word “knobby” and its the perfect word to describe what I saw today. “A rounded protuberance; lump”

This morning while Jacob was at school, I decided to have some sweet time with Natalie at Kenneth Hahn Park. Love going there when I have a basket full of old pieces of bread. Love it that it’s inland enough that seagulls don’t come and terrorize us as we feed the ducks. Love it that there are at least 5 species of birds there: the regular mallard ducks with orange feet, the white geese, the pigeons, the black ones with giant, decorated-like webbed feet that squawk quite noisily and look like “emus” as Natalie likes to say, and the cute smaller sized ones that have a white vertical stripe down their head and squeak like a kid’s tiny bath toy. Sometimes we see a beautiful white crane. Or maybe it’s a heron. I don’t know the difference. Didn’t see that one today. And then there are also the crows. Lots of wildlife. Along with turtles basking on the rocks. It’s just glorious.

But what was not so glorious was when I started noticing the pigeon’s feet. At first I saw one of them- with a missing toe. Well I don’t know if you call them toes. Normal pigeons have these 3 segments of foot-pieces that jut out forward and then 1 foot-segment/toe that juts out backward, for balance I suppose. Anyway, I noticed one pigeon that only had 2 of the front “toes”. Then I noticed another one missing two of them. But then I started noticing how many pigeons had totally malformed feet. I’m talking about pigeons missing all the pieces and they were just walking around on knobs of feet!!! Yes. Literally just these pinkish rounded lumps at the end of their legs. What in the world?!? And then I started noticing that some of them had the most disgusting bubbly-like bulges of skin at the end of those knobbed-end legs. Like all bulgy-blistery looking. It was just sad. gross. concerning. It was like all of  sudden I noticed a phenomenon. We’re not talking about one sole pigeon with some feet problems. We’re talking about a whole grip of them! Is that because they have some genetically malformed feet and they keep procreating amongst themselves? Or is there something in their environment there at Kenneth Hahn Park that causes their feet to end up looking like that? Seriously it was almost like a “leperous” condition amongst the pigeons. I couldn’t help but think back to someone in my life who called pigeons “rats with wings”.

But in the midst of the disgusting knobby feet, Natalie and I kept feeding them our bags of old bread. And I couldn’t help but think of how awesome it is that a bird’s need for food is met unexpectedly to them. They don’t have stores to go and buy their food. They just wait. They wait expectantly for food to appear. Do they just get fed when people in the city feel an urge to go to the park with their bread? Do they have another food source? And so then I started thinking deeper…..I hope I have that ability to just wait. I can’t imagine pigeons consciously thinking of God as their provider. But I know and trust Him to be my provider. To trust in His provision and His timing, that’s what I want to be known for. Just like today we were the hands that fed birds the food they needed, and just like God’s hands sent manna from Heaven that covered the ground for the Israelites when they were hungry, so too God will bring me what I need when I most need it. I hope to tuck that lesson away and remember it when I need it most.

But I don’t really want to remember the knobby pigeon feet. I can let that memory go. Ha!

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