There was once a man who didn’t believe in God, andÂ he didn’t hesitate to let others know how he felt about religion and religious holidays. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to also haveÂ faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments.
One snowy Eve, his wife was taking their childrenÂ to service in the farm community in which they lived.
They were to talk about Jesus’ birth. She asked himÂ to come, but he refused.
“That story is nonsense!” he said. “Why would GodÂ lower Himself to come to Earth as a man?
So she and the children left, and he stayed home.
A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snowÂ turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was aÂ blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening.Â Then he heard a loud thump.
Something had hit the window. He looked out, butÂ couldn’t see more than a few feet.
When the snow let up a little, he ventured outsideÂ to see what could have been beating on his window.
In the field near his house he saw a flock of wildÂ geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they gotÂ caught in the snowstorm and couldn’t go on. They were lost and stranded onÂ his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew aroundÂ the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed.
The man felt sorry for the geese and wantedÂ to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought.It’s warm and safe; surely they couldÂ spend the night and wait out the storm.
So he walkedÂ over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping theyÂ would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just flutteredÂ around aimlessly and didn’t seem to notice the barn or realize that it couldÂ mean for them.
The man triedÂ to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them, and they movedÂ further away.
He went intoÂ the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trailÂ leading to the barn. They still didn’t catch on.
Now he wasÂ getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn,Â but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward theÂ barn.
Nothing he didÂ could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.
“Why don’tÂ they follow me?!” he exclaimed.
“Can’t theyÂ see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?”
He thought forÂ a moment and realized that they just wouldn’t follow a human “If only I were aÂ goose, then I could save them,” he said out loud.
Then he had anÂ idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms asÂ he circled around behind the flock of wild geese.
He thenÂ released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn -andÂ one-by-one, the other geese followed it to safety.
He stoodÂ silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayedÂ in his mind: “If only I were a goose, then I could save them!” Then heÂ thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. “Why would God want to be like us? That’s ridiculous!”
Suddenly itÂ all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese-blind, lost,Â perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way andÂ save us.
As the windsÂ and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderfulÂ thought. Suddenly he understood why Christ had come.
Years of doubtÂ and disbelief vanished with the passing storm. He fell to his knees inÂ the snow, and prayed his first prayer:
“Thank You,Â God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!”