The Man and the Birds

Last year after Christmas, a friend of mine at work set me onto a story that Paul Harvey used to tell during the Christmas season. It’s a touching story that really helps to bring out the story of God coming to Earth as man. Since this is the Christmas season, I thought I would post it up this evening. I only wish we could have the whole effect of Paul Harvey narrating it. As we read this wonderful story, I hope we all remember what this season truly is about.

The Man and the Birds by Paul Harvey

The man to whom I’m 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 feel like a hypocrite. That 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. 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, galoshes, tramped 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 bread crumbs, 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 bread crumbs, and continued to flap 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 could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am 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 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.

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8 Responses to The Man and the Birds

  1. Steve Gander says:

    Thanks. I will gladly accept as many different ways as possible to to try to understand the mystery of God coming to earth as a man to die for my sins. This is a good one.

  2. kansasvike says:

    I really liked it too, Steve. Took me a while to find it, but it was worth it.

  3. chris gempler says:

    all I can say at this time is “THANK YOU VERY MUCH” I know now how to tell my 8yr. old son. and let him read this passage so he can better understand why JESUS came to us as MAN.


    Chris G.

  4. Dennis says:

    Very nice story that really makes you realize what you often forget, having faith. Thanks for sharing.

  5. kansasvike says:

    Your welcome Chris. I never thought about it, but that is a great story for a young child.

    Take care and have a safe Christmas.


  6. kansasvike says:

    Thanks for taking the time to respond Dennis.

    May God Bless


  7. Judy says:

    God did come to me as a person! A whole congregation witnessed this lady who came into our church and walked down the isle and excused herself. Our minister welcomed her to come down to him at the pulpet. We all watched her go up the few stairs and she told us that her husband was working for the carnival that came in the small town to set up the rides and games and help take them down again and she came along with her husband . But she got a message to come to our church (which she didn’t know). She followed the directions that the message gave her. Now she is on the stage next to our minister asking the congregation if there is a Judy here. I was confused as to what was going on. Maybe a prank, but it was church, who would play a prank in church? So I looked around the congregation to see if there was any other Judys in the congregation, but no one else was raising their hand or stepping forward. So I slowly raised my hand, and said, I’m Judy. This lady started coming towards me, down the few stairs and I started moving towards her from my pew. We wrapped our arms around each other and she whispered to me, “God Loves You.” Then this lady told me she was sent here by God to tell me He loves me. I was still confused but I began to cry with joy. I am 66 years old and that happened a couple of years ago. God does come to you in any shape or form. He IS GOD!

  8. kansasvike says:

    What a fantastic story Judy. I’m so happy for you. It is amazing the many ways God chooses to appear and talk to his children. You will never forget that moment and I thank Him for you taking the time to share that with all of us.

    God Bless you and take care.


    You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you
    who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for
    you are all one in Christ Jesus.

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