Little Servants with Great Responsibilities - The Warrior's Journey®

Little Servants with Great Responsibilities

Author: David Causey, USA (Ret.)

War pigeon G.I. Joe mounted and on display at Fort Monmouth. Photo by Public Domain is licensed under CC By 2.0

Pigeons are everywhere. With 310 species they are considered the most common birds in the world. Even in densely populated urban areas, pigeons abound. So hardly anyone sheds a tear if one of them should die. 

But they’re not only plentiful. They’re also somewhat silly looking. Many find humor in their tiny head mounted on such a stout body. Then there’s the way they walk. With each step the pigeon’s head moves forward and backward. And it gets real funny when a child follows them and the nervous pigeon’s head moves back and forth more rapidly, like a paddle ball. Kids love to chase pigeons. 

But as silly and commonplace as these undignified creatures may be, they are also capable of some heroic feats. For instance, from a starting position a pigeon can accelerate to 60 MPH in just a few seconds and can fly for hundreds of miles non-stop. They also use the earth’s magnetosphere to navigate over featureless terrain and trackless seas with pinpoint precision.  

These abilities have made the “silly-looking” pigeon a formidable messenger during wartime. In fact, during WWI and WWII pigeons successfully carried critical messages and intelligence reports – information which frequently made the difference between victory and defeat. Pigeons were even strapped with tiny cameras and took photos of enemy positions to aid the Allied forces.  

Among the pigeon war heroes was Cher-Ami. In one WWI battle she carried a message that saved the lives of many French soldiers. And she accomplished this mission despite having one of her feet shot off and losing one of her eyes from shrapnel. She was awarded the French Croix de Guerre.  

G.I. Joe was another feathered fellow who was used by British forces during WWII in campaign for Italy. Joe prevented the saturation bombing of a town in which Allied Forces had just taken up positions. G.I. Joe flew twenty miles in twenty minutes to an Allied airfield, arriving just as the bombers were taxing down the runway. But it was in time to abort the mission which would have cost the lives of 1,000 soldiers. 

Then there was William of Orange. During the Battle of Arnhem in WWII, the communications equipment of Allied soldiers was inoperable. The Allies were surrounded by enemy forces. They released William with a desperate request for reinforcements at 10:30 AM on September 19, 1944. He arrived at Allied HQs at 2:55 PM that same day. In response, the Allies directed reserve forces to assist the surrounded soldiers. It is estimated that William’s mission saved the lives of over 2,000 Allied soldiers with this action. He was awarded the Dickin Award—the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross. 

Think about it. Each of these tiny, silly creatures was part of a mission that was immensely greater than themselves. Didn’t Jesus infer that one human is worth far more than many pigeons (Matt. 10:31)? Yet in these cases the lives of thousands of human beings hung upon the success of one pigeon. What a grave responsibility they carried! Yet they rose to the occasion and saved thousands of lives. 

Never let your own perceived insignificance lead you to underestimate the importance of the work God has given you. “What I’m doing cannot possibly be importantI’m just a nobody!”  Not to God. To God you are of supreme importance. And it’s very likely that the task He has assigned is even more important? It’s probable that the fate of many others depends upon you? 

Think of the donkey for which Jesus sent His disciples to fetch (Mark 11:1–8). Jesus told His disciples to say, “The Lord has need of him” (Mark 11:3). If God could have need of something as insignificant as a donkey, doesn’t He also need us to fulfill His purposes? On that day of His triumphal entry, a mere donkey carried the Lord of Glory into Jerusalem, fulfilling many Messianic prophecies. Isn’t it possible that, as small as we think we are, God has given us a mission of eternal significance to hundreds of others?   

Wake up and realize the importance of your task. The mission is bigger than we are. The Person we serve is bigger than we are. It is the Lord Jesus Christ you are serving, to whom you will give an account at His judgment seat (2 Cor. 5:9–10). Be faithful and work whole-heartedly for Christ.


Dear Father in heaven, please awaken me to the importance of the work You’ve given me to do. Please stir my heart to serve You.  Empower me, O God, to accomplish Your work. And keep me faithful until death. Amen. 

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