Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Man and the Birds


I recently discovered (in a neglected closet) a little pamphlet with a story 'The Man and the Birds.' I had not read it for a few years, but I've always loved this story. I hope you will too.


The Man and the Birds

"The man to whom I am going to introduce you was not a Scrooge, he was a kind, decent, mostly good man...generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men...but he just didn't believe all that Incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas time...it just didn't make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn't swallow the Jesus story...about God coming to earth as a man.

'I'm truly sorry to distress you,' he told his wife, 'but I'm not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.' He said he'd much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them and so...he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall.



He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier, and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound, then another...and then another...a sort of a thump or a thud. 

At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window, but when he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They'd been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his large, landscape window. 


 Well, he couldn't let the poor creatures lie there and freeze...so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony...that would provide a warm shelter...if he could direct the birds to it.

Quickly, he put on a coat and galoshes and trampled through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light...

But the birds did not come in.

He figured food would entice them in...so he hurried back to the house, fetched breadcrumbs, sprinkled them on the snow...making a trail to the yellow-lighted, wide open doorway of the stable...but to his dismay, the birds ignored the breadcrumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow.

He tried catching them...he tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them, waving his arms...instead they scattered in every direction...except into the warm lighted barn - and then he realized that they were afraid of him. 


'To them,' he reasoned, 'I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I can think of some way to let them know that they can trust me, that I'm not trying to hurt them, but to help them...but how?'  Because any move he made tended to frighten them...confuse them. They just would not follow, they would not be led or shooed because they feared him.

'If only I could be a bird,' he thought to himself, 'and mingle 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...to the safe, warm barn, but I would have to be one of them so they could see...and hear...and understand.'


At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind and he stood there listening to the bells...

♫Adeste Fideles...♪

...listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas...and he sank to his knees in the snow..."



***

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross! - Philippians 2:6-8

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. - John 3:16-18



***
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28 comments:

Terri D. said...

A wonderful story, Judy. Thanks for sharing it. You enriched my morning immensely! Blessings!!

Sandra said...

a beautiful story, thanks for sharing it

Parsley said...

WONDERFUL! Chill bumps.

Bossy Betty said...

Beautiful, both the words and pictures!

Paulette said...

What a charming story, thank you for sharing it with us.

Aimee - ItsOverflowing.com said...

WOW! This is beautiful and so deep Judy! Thanks for a precious gift of truth this morning! XO, Aimee

Nici Higby said...

Wow...beautiful story. Thanks so much for sharing this. What a wonderful way to illustrate the love of our Savior! Have a blessed Christmas!
Nici

Ruth Kelly said...

I loved your story. I would be totally lost without our Savior. He answers my prayers and helps me in my daily life. I met a man on the ship who had those same qualities of the man in your story. We will be facebook friends for he lives in Sidney, Australia.

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Beautifully illustrated and a wonderful story.

Thank you for sharing.

Jen

Rose Hascall said...

What a lovely story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Kristen said...

A beautiful story, thank you.

Heide at ApronHistory said...

Wonderful story. And your pictures illistrate it so nicely!

Tricia Hays said...

Absolutely wonderful story! God bless you & your family! =)

Tricia Hays said...

ps I forgot to thank you for linking to Barn Charm... I was sidetracked by the story =)

Chatty Crone said...

OH my gosh I LOVED that. What a great way to explain and understand. Love it.

Ellie VanCaster said...

Thanks for sharing that wonderful story

Eileen said...

That was such a beautiful story.

Terra said...

I got goosebumps of joy when I read this; such a thrilling end to the story when the man realized the True Story of Christmas.

Mitzi said...

OH Judy...this is such a beautiful story! Totally warmed my heart! Thank you for always stopping by my blog these days and offering such wonderful kind words. It really means a lot. Big hugs, xoxo

Carla said...

Great story, I plan to share this with the boys.
Thank You

Under Her Wings said...

I love this, Judy! I am sending it to my daughters so that the dads can read it to the children. Just this morning I was thinking how thankful I am that during this particular holiday season our funds are low enough that we cannot spend much on gifts or trips. The family in our house is spending each night teaching the true story of Christmas. They are making their own cards for their grandparents and friends, taking special drives together, making gifts, and just enjoying being a family who treasures the Word of God. The simple message of Christmas is just that--God became a man in order to sacrifice His glory to redeem sinful mankind. What a wonderful little story with the true message of Christmas.

Debra said...

What a beautiful story! So deep and touching!

Tracey Steele@Breathing English Air said...

Very moving story and beautiful pictures.

Denise said...

Good story.

Olive said...

Wonderful Judy and your images add a lot to the story too.

Claudia said...

Beautiful story, Judy. Thank you so much.

xo
Claudia

debra said...

oh my, what a beautiful beautiful story! :)

J said...

I was directed here by Debra at The Homespun. I loved your Christmas story, and reading further, I see that we share the same love of animals and mission to promote shelter adoption. I look forward to coming here often to read more! Merry Christmas!

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