In A Christmas Storm
There was once a man who didn't believe in God, and he didn't hesitate to let others know how he felt about religious holidays. His wife, however, did believe, and she raised their children to have faith despite her husband's disparaging comments. One snowy Christmas Eve, the mother was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service. She asked him to come, but he refused. "That story is nonsense!" he said. "Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That's ridiculous!" So she and the children left, and he stayed home. A while later, the winds grew stronger and the snow turned into a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire for the evening. Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn't see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what was beating on his window. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying when they got caught in the snowstorm. They were blinded, lost and stranded on his farm. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles blindly and aimlessly and a couple of them had flown against his window. The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought, it would be a warm and safe place for them to spend the night and wait out the storm. So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn't seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away. He went into the house and came back out with some bread, broke it up, and made a breadcrumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn't catch on and he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe. "Why don't they follow me?!" he exclaimed. "Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?" He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn't follow a human. "If only I were a goose, then I could save them," he said out loud. Then he had an idea. He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it. His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn - and one by one the other geese followed it to safety. He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: "If only I were a goose, then I could save them!" Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God become one of us?" Suddenly it all made sense. That is exactly what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized. As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas is all about, why Christ had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: "Thank You Jesus for coming in human form to show me the way out of the storm!"