Parable of the Birds

Louis Cassels was religion editor for United Press
International.His "Parable of the Birds" has been
reprinted and rebroadcast on radio many times in
the years since it first appeared in the
Christmas editions of newspapers across the
country in 1959. The first time I heard it was many
years ago on Paul Harvey. I share it with all of
you with a prayer that it might lead us all closer
to the Light, Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Parable of the Birds

Once upon a time, there was a man who looked upon
Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn't a Scrooge.
He was a very kind and decent person, generous to
his family, upright in all his dealings with other men.

But he didn't believe all that stuff about God
becoming man, which churches proclaim at Christmas.
Why would God want to do anything like that?

So when his family left to attend midnight services
on Christmas Eve,he stayed home.

Shortly after the family drove away snow began to fall.
He went to the window and watched the flurries getting
heavier and heavier. Sometime later, as he was reading
his newspaper by the fire, he was startled by a thudding
sound that was quickly followed by another. Then another.

When he went to investigate, he found a flock of birds
huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught
in the storm, and in a desperate search
for shelter had tried to fly through the window.

"I can't let these poor creatures lie there and
freeze," he thought. "But how can I help them?"

Then he remembered the barn. It would provide
a warm shelter. He quickly put on his coat and
boots and tramped throught the deepening snow to
the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned
on the light.

But the birds didn't come in.

"Food will bring them in," he thought. So he
hurried back to the house for bread crumbs,
which he sprinkled on the snow to make a
trail into the barn.

To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs
and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow.
He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around
and waving his arms. They scattered in
every direction – except into the warm, lighted barn.

"They find me a strange and terrifying creature," he
said to himself, "and I can't seem to think of any way
to let them know they can trust me."

"If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes,
perhaps I could lead them to safety."

Just at that moment the church bells began to ring.
He stood silently for awhile, listening to the bells
pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

Then he sank to his knees in the snow.
"Now I understand,
"he whispered. "Now I see why You had to do it."

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