Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pigeon Holes

Yay and Hallelujah!  The pictures loaded today -- I hope you like them.  These two shots were taken in San Juan, Puerto Rico at a spot where hundreds of pigeons reside.  The wall beside a wide plaza on a hillside above the harbor is filled with pigeon holes.  I was fascinated with these multi-colored feathered friends and their interesting tenement dwelling.  They really act like they own the place -- and I guess they do.

I immediately thought about the words pigeon hole and its various meanings.  Originally the words were only used as nouns.  The first usage seems to be in medieval times when pigeon holes were just as these pictures show -- openings in a wall in which pigeons nested.  In the 18th century, desks were made with compartments used to file documents, which were called pigeon holes.  By the 19th century, the phrase had taken on the trappings of a verb when it was used to classify information.  Today, the term pigeon hole is often used by society to classify people.

Have you ever felt like you were being pigeon holed?  Do you feel it was a negative or a positive classification?  Sometimes people are pigeon holed as "Christian."  Now, that's a pigeon hole I'm happy to be put into.  Some people may be throwing out that classification with a negative spin, but I totally accept it with a positive outlook.  If our lives shine for Christ and we are labeled "Christian," then we're following that commandment of the Lord that says we are to let our lives shine for Christ so that others may see Jesus and glorify the Father.

How about the noun usage of the words?  I tend to compartmentalize things in my life -- put them in pigeon holes, so to speak.  I look at the openings in the second photo above and see two nicely-squared pigeon holes and then one that is jagged and messy looking.  That's how some of the issues are in my heart.  Some of the compartments are nice and tidy because I let God control those issues.  Then, there are the issues I try to handle in my own strength and the pigeon holes where I've placed them have painful, jagged edges that I just can't seem to get right.  I wonder why I don't let the Master clean them up and make them whole.  Sometimes that old "me" nature has a hard time letting go.

Wouldn't it be great if all the pigeon holes in our lives could be labeled "Christian," and that God could be in control of each and every one.  He'd keep them cleaned up and nicely-squared and we could live with greater peace and power and purpose.  And, on top of that, we wouldn't suffer from so many ruffled feathers from those jagged edges rubbing against us in our pigeon holes.  


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