Friday, December 25, 2009

A Christmas Message

This is a story my dad wrote about the true meaning of Christmas. I love how simply it describes the purpose for this blessed occasion. Enjoy.

The Man and the Birds
He was not a scrooge. He was a kind decent, mostly good man. But he just didn't believe the incarnation story that Christianity proclaims at Christmas. It didn't make sense to him and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. Why would a God come to earth to live as a man?

"I'm sorry," he told his wife, "but I'm not going with you to church this Christmas. I would feel like a hypocrite.” And so he stayed home and they went to church.

Shortly after the family drove away, snow began to fall. He went to the window to see that a winter storm was coming and he was glad he was at home. He went back to reading his newspaper. Minutes later he heard a thud, then another, and another. At first he thought someone was throwing snowballs at his living room window but when he looked out there was no one there. Then he heard it again and again. He once more went to the door but nobody was there. Just as he was closing the door he saw a small flock of birds huddled in the snow. They'd been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his living room window.

He couldn't leave them there to freeze to death. Maybe he could get them into his garage. It would provide shelter and protect them until the storm passed. Quickly he put on a coat, hat and boots and went out to the garage. He opened the garage door and turned on a light, but the birds did not move. He figured food would draw them in, so he went back to the house to get bread crumbs. He made a path with them from the garage to the birds, but to his dismay, the birds ignored them and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried shouting at them. He tried waving his hands to shoo them into the garage. He tried catching them. But every time he came near, they scattered in every direction. Every direction, that is, except toward the garage.

He realized that they were afraid of him. To them he was a strange and terrifying creature. If only he could think of some way to let them know that they could trust him. That he was not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But every move he made frightened and confused them. They would not follow him. They would not be led by him. They only feared him.

"If only I could be a bird," he thought, "If I was a bird I could be with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to the safe warm garage. But I would have to be one of them so they could see and hear and understand."
Just then the church bells began to ring. The sound rose above the roar of the storm. He stood there listening as the bells rang out O Come All Ye Faithful, as the bells pealed the glad tidings of Christmas, of the Babe, the son of God and King of Israel.
And he fell to his knees in the snow.

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