The Sea Gull & The Pigeon
FOR THE CHILDREN IN YOUR LIFE
The Sea Gull & The Pigeon
Copyright © 1991 by Covenant Marriages
A Ministry Of Victory Faith Fellowship
Published in the United States of America
All rights reserved under International Copyright Law
Contents May not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without the express
written consent of the publisher.
Dedicated to my dear wife, Lynne,
Who answered God’s call on her life,
And to Andrew and Matthew,
Who also love the Lord.
A very Special Christmas wish for my sons, Andrew and Matthew: “Have faith in God that you too can fly!
In December 1983, Lynne and I were in the midst of our divorce. We had been apart for six months and I had just been “born again” on October 25th while learning to fly a Citation jet aircraft. The Judge in the divorce court had awarded me very little opportunity to visit my children. As we were very close at the time, it was taking its toll on me.
For a diversion, I went to visit my older daughter, Joan, who was married and living in the Minneapolis area. Joan is a born again, spirit filled child of god, who had prayed for my conversion many years. While there I decided to write this story which had come to me two years earlier when Lynne and I were visiting Monterey, California. At the time the Holy Spirit quickened the passage, “Sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning”, which appears on the title page of this book.
I wanted my dear children to know how much their father loved them and I thought I could send them a love story in the form of a book; at the same time letting Lynne know God does have a better plan for marriages and families.
With Joan providing the art work and using my last bit of money, I presented to Andrew and Matthew their own copies of this story.
We thought you too might enjoy reading this story to your children and give them hope for the restoration of your family.
In His Love,
The Sea Gull and the Pigeon
This is a story, mostly true, which unfolded in the late summer of 1981 in Monterey Bay.
Approximately one year earlier a newly mated pair of gray and white pigeons built a next in the structures below a pier a couple of miles south of Monterey bay.
The pigeons had worked very hard bringing twigs, branches and feathers to build a very sturdy nest which rested fifteen felt above the high water line of the ocean below.
In time, the mother pigeon laid two gray green speckled eggs in the nest, and she and the father took turns guarding it and bringing a supply of dry foods for nourishment.
Sometime later the two eggs hatched and one baby pigeon was small and gray and white like the parents. This pigeon had dark gray-brown legs and beak.
The other baby pigeon was much larger, and had orange feet and beak, and it was all white with gray wings. The beak of this pigeon was larger and had a downward curve to the end of the beak.
For the first few days, the two baby pigeons were loved and fed by the mother and the father pigeons who were eternally grateful for having such a nice family.
As the weeks passed, the baby pigeons spent much of the time peering out of the nest which overlooked the ocean. The swirling waters below cam e and went, raising the water level below the pier.
Out to the sea the sea gulls could be seen aimlessly floating through the beautiful sky. Oh! How the two little pigeons longed to be like the sea gulls and float carelessly in the balmy sky.
The gulls’ days were spent soaring high above ground or ocean and then returning to the ocean or sand to wait for the next urge to fly. Periodically they would swoop down and pick up some morsel of food from sand or ocean.
During these early days the pigeons were being gently fed small insects and seeds, in small mounts, by their mother or father.
The smaller pigeon with the dark gray body and wings we’ll call Erin, the larger pigeon with the orange legs and beak and was definitely a boy.
And we’ll call him Matthew. Matthew’s markings were distinctly different with the white body and gray wings.
Of the two small pigeons, Matthew was definitely the one who was interested in learning how to fly. Each time the mother and father pigeons returned to the nest, Matthew was very interested to see how they made their wings function. Every once in a while Matthew and Erin would flap their little wings and just pretend.
Erin would often say, “Matthew, I know you’ll someday fly just like those sea gulls.” And Matthew would reply, “I can hardly wait, Erin.”
The two of them enjoyed the days together while the parents were away seeking food. Over the next week one very beautiful white sea gull with gray wings would fly by the nest and look at the cute little baby pigeons in the nets under the solitary pier two miles south of Monterey Bay.
The Sea gull was fascinated by the head size and beak of the larger baby pigeon. It certainly looked more like a baby gull, he thought.
The sea gull was a very lovely and compassionate two year old herring gull, named Andrew, who had grown up along the coast of Southern Oregon and had migrated to Monterey Bay with an older gull the year before.
Andrew thoroughly enjoyed the sun in Monterey Bay and spent a great deal of time soaring in the sky and watching the activities of the bay. The boats would leave their moorings in the morning and would come back in the afternoon or evening.
Frequently small scraps of fish, used for chumming, would be tossed overboard behind the boat, and Andrew would swoop down from the sky and deftly pick up a bite of fish and return to the sky to alight moments later on one of the piling at the wharf in Monterey.
This spot was special for Andrew as it was right in front of the fancy restaurants on the pier where any night you could stare through the windows and see beautifully dressed people enjoying dinner under candlelight at elegantly decorated tables.
Seldom did any food scraps come out of the restaurant, but it was enjoyable standing on the piling and pretending like you were close friends of the restaurant people. It somehow made the world a little warmer and more beautiful.
At times the people would wander out through the French doors and gaze out over the water in hopes of seeing the friendly sea otters who would be lying on their backs sunning or eating sea food. Other times the people enjoyed watching the setting sun change from yellow-white to orange to crimson as it electrified the sky, causing a rainbow of sky colors to occur.
Even in a lowly sea gulls heart God had implanted the words, “Take each day one day at a time-and make it a masterpiece.” Andrew had always tried to do just that, and he was very appreciative to God for giving him such a beautiful place to live, and such an abundance of food.
Andrew, being conscious of God’s desires, was forever looking for ways to help his fellow sea gulls, or, for that matter trying to help all his animal friends. God had rewarded him with many blessing over the past year.
Two more weeks had gone by and the two pigeons were gaining height, strength, and courage. They were getting so excited at the thought of being able to eventually move from their nest.
The father pigeon had been closely observing the growth and eagerness of the young pigeons and knew very well how anxious they were to leave the nest.
He took time, on two occasions, to say, “My dear Matthew and Erin-when you begin to fly it is important to have faith that you can fly. Remember, your Heavenly Father designed and produced you in a manner to make you airworthy with all the other birds.”
“But, since you are inexperienced, it is necessary to have a great deal of faith. You will know when the time is right, and you must fly.”
This was the summer of 1981 and the weather had been generally vry beautiful in Monterey after the morning fog had burned off. On this day the sun rose early and the ocean sparkled like the crown jewels. The sea gulls were lazily soaring across the azure sky and the wind was gently blowing from the northwest.
On this day the two parent pigeons had flown from the nest early and returned with a particularly plentiful breakfast for or the young pigeons, Erin and Matthew. The mother and father pigeons would frequently fly a couple of miles south to where a lush field was in pasture for a horse and cow; where there was a low horse barn they could rest bask in the sun.
This was one of those mornings and the two pigeons cooed lovingly to each other. They had always been loving parents, always respected each other, but now it seemed their commitment to each other had grown strong as they jointly cared for their young offspring. The day slipped silently by as the two pigeons fell sound asleep and great peace descended upon them.
Meanwhile, back at the nest, the young pigeons were taking their morning stretch and looking out over the ocean. The nest was built under planking of the pier on one of the large wood girders. Directly below, approximately 15 feet, were two large telephone pole sized pilings. One extended four feet above the water and the other only two feet
The waves were beginning to rise along the shorter piling to where there was only one foot extended above the water.
Matthew stood precariously on the edge of the nest and flapped his wings in gestures of flying. He had done this many times, but in the past two weeks his feathers had gotten much longer and he was sure would support his flight. He wasn’t sure he could fly, but he did remember his father saying you must “believe” you can fly and you would know when the time was right for flying.
At that moment, Erin crowded next to Matthew and looked endearingly into his brown eyes, seeing a brother who was surely getting more mature and near the time of his solo flight. Secretly they both had practiced the wing movements needed for flight, but neither one was ready to take the first step toward the ocean below. At that moment Matthew looked back at Erin and somehow lost his balance. Off of the nest he went
Matthew’s first thought was his father’s words, “Have Faith” and then his wings began to move. He had been toppling feet over head but as the wings moved the body righted itself, and the next thing Matthew knew he was lying on the shorter piling below the pier. His left wing and side landed first, causing a real pain on that side. He laid there of several minutes and then he could hear the chirping of Erin way above. He got to his feet and shook himself free, and then chirped back to Erin that he was alive and well. Erin was greatly relieved an thanked God for Matthew’s safety.
The tide was rising and there was less than three inches of post rising above the water. Now things seemed even more unsafe to Matthew. How could he possibly get out of this predicament? He couldn’t really fly or swim and yet there was no other way to get himself off of the piling.
From some distance, the loving sea gull named Andrew, who was bouncing on the waves, heard the young pigeon’s cry for help and immediately took gracefully to the air and tailed the short distance quickly. Andrew landed along-side the marooned pigeon and began to soothingly speak in a universal bird talk he had head somewhere before. It was amazing, God had given each creature the wherewithal to handle most emergencies. Andrew asked God to show him what to do. As he got next to Matthew, the water rose above the piling, causing the young pigeon to jump on top of the sea gull.
That was God’s plan. The sea gull got his balance and began to paddle his webbed feet and skirted through the pilings along the edge of the pier and headed for smoother waters away from shore.
Matthew was using his long beak and long toes to grasp onto the sea gull’s feathers and stay firmly attached. Andrew quickly flapped his fan shaped pointed wings and gently transitioned into the air and few of the swollen sea.
Erin looked at the entire scene with total fascination and amazement. She knew Matthew would be safe and would someday return.
Andrew carried Matthew approximately two miles to his resting spot in the pier below the restaurants at Monterey Bay. Andrew gently landed on a plank just above the water level and well protected from the ocean winds and the larger waves. Matthew looked around in total amazements but knew that there was already some unusual bond between the gentle sea gull and the fledgling pigeon. Certainly God had a plan.
For the next few weeks the sea gull and the pigeon learned to live together and love one another. Matthew so wanted to be like Andrew that it was no time at all before he was eating fish, soaring through the skies, and standing very tall on the pier pilings. It seemed to Andrew that the mature pigeon had taken on all the characteristics of a mature sea gull. The whit body feathers and gray wings looked just like any other herring gull’s and even the bill was longer and more stout than a pigeon’s, and it distinctly had the down ward deflected sharp look at the end. In most ways Matthew the pigeon had become Matthew the herring gull.
One evening in the summer time of 1981, we traveled to Monterey Bay for dinner on the wharf. We quite unexpectedly stumbled onto a very, very nice restaurant whose French doors opened out on the pier overlooking the beautiful Monterey Bay.
It was getting toward evening time and the sun was heading for its resting place in the far curve of the majestic ocean.
As we looked out on the bay surrounded by many sailing and power boats, we spotted a beautiful sea otter playfully swimming jump the channel between the boats. The otter made several passes up and down the channel and finally stopped directly in front of our table and beyond two pilings located nearer to the pier. It disappeared for thirty seconds and re-appeared, to lie on its back and put a fair sized flat rock on its chest, and then proceeded to pound a clam shell in its hands against the rock on its chest. The rata-tat-tat was very noticeable from where we were dining.
A few moments later two sea gulls, with white bodies and gray wings, landed on the pilings in front of us. One was larger and one was smaller, but each one stood posed in the majestic manner of the gulls.
After some scrutiny, I realized the smaller gull did not have webbed feet, and in fact, may not have been a gull.
There was no doubt in our minds that these were now two inseparable sea gulls, and it brought much joy to our hearts to see the love and the tenderness between these two companions we called Andrew and Matthew.
It is now nearly eight years later, and only God could ha accomplished the miracles that have occurred since the time I wrote this story. In 1985, Lynne and I were remarried, with Gavin MacLeod being the best man at our wedding.
Since that time we have been led into full-time ministry, helping others receive the healing of their broken marriages. We have been rewarded seeing God perform the same miracle in other’s lives that He performed in ours. We are joining our prayers with yours for the reconciliation of your marriage and the restoration of your family. The marathon runners say, “There is no gain without pain.” We believe that is true as you press on for the healing of your marriage. Remember the passage, “Sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
We truly believe God wants all troubled marriages healed…and yours is no exception. Love your children and speak God’s words over them and let them become your prayer partners for the restoration of your marriage. Nothing is impossible with God.
Bob and Lynne Christensen
This photograph of our family was taken seven years after the photography in the front of this book. We have seen our children become strong, devoted Christian young me, who bring us joy in every way. Andrew is nearly 17 years old and is a wonderful help in our television production of “Back Together Again.” Matthew is 13 years old and also helps us with the television ministry. They both are doing in their Christian School and are young men who make us very proud to be their parents. We are believing God will do the same with your children, as you lead them to Him.