How the strange visit of a pigeon helped me help my friend

Does G-d use birds as messengers? This occurrence makes me wonder:

A year ago January my friend Nanci was recuperating from surgery for stage 3 ovarian cancer. She was about to undergo her first chemo therapy session, and I felt that she needed a serious picker-upper. I offered to lend her my book, ‘Love, Medicine and Miracles’ by Bernie Siegel. The only problem was that the book which I always kept on the bookcase next to my bed, was nowhere to be found.

I searched all the shelves of the bookcase, the floor, and under my bed, but couldn’t find it. I was very frustrated and annoyed. Did I just imagine I owned the book? Maybe I, myself, had borrowed it from a friend, and had returned it to them.

The next afternoon my husband Mark and I drove to Haifa and visited our daughter and her boyfriend. When we returned home to Ra’anana around 11 pm, we were rather shocked to find a pigeon fluttering around our bedroom. The glass of the window had been left open around 15 cm, and the pigeon had flown in through the protective bars and this opened portion. Mark and I were rather stunned. When the weather was warmer, 9 months of the year, the window was left wide open, and in the previous 11 years of living in this apartment, no birds had flown into our bedroom, though plenty-a-time they had landed on the outside window sill.

This was a most unwelcome visitor. Mark grabbed a pole and tried to flush the pigeon out of the room. The bird wedged itself between a small dresser and the wall and couldn’t be budged. We were tired, irritated. I suggested that we open the window wide, close our bedroom door, and sleep on the sofas in the living room. Hopefully by the morning the pigeon will have had the sense to leave.

Upon entering our bedroom the next morning, I could not see the pigeon; but I had to do a thorough search of the room to make sure that it wasn’t hiding somewhere. I looked behind the dresser and carefully around the room. I lowered myself to the floor and looked under our bed. To my relief, I did not see the pigeon; but deep under our queen-size bed, where I would not have considered to look previously, I saw a book. Using a broom I pulled out the book, and it was the exact one that I had been searching for so fervently 2 nights before! How it got to be so deep under our bed I do not know; but never mind. I was ecstatic to have found it.

As for the pigeon, it was nowhere to be seen. It must have flown out during the night, to our great relief.

That evening Mark and I visited Nanci. She was delighted in both receiving the inspiring book, and in hearing how a pigeon had led me to find it.

Was G-d’s hand at play here – leading me to find the missing book, when it was needed most? You decide. And in the mean time, I shall never look at this ubiquitous pest of Israel’s cities, in the same way again.

About the Author
Canadian born Heddi Keil has lived in Israel since 1999 and would like to share both the humour and the poignancy of living here, as well as mystical experiences. Heddi has a degree in psychology, and is an English editor and teacher.