THE CHRISTMAS BIRDS
It was a particularly cold and blustery Christmas Eve this year ..... Carol bundled up the children for Midnight Mass, and tried one last time to encourage Jim to join them. Now, Jim was a kindly man; a good father a loving husband ... in fact, there was nothing anyone could say at all against this upstanding civic leader !
Jim's only 'deficit' (if you could call it that), was that he chose not to go to Church ............................. ever.
It wasn't that he didn't believe in God.. it was simply that he felt 'uncomfortable' with structured religious activities of any sort, hence he avoided them as much as possible.
At any rate, Carol and the children had left and Jim settled down in front of a nice roaring fire with his slippers, the newspaper and a cup of his favorite raspberry hot chocolate. This was HIS time to relax, with most of the hustle bustle of the season behind him now, he relished the thought to be alone and kick back!
He placed his "reading" glasses auspiciously at the end of his nose and began to peruse the newspaper. "THUMP"... "THUMP" he heard against the front of the house. "hmmmmm, must be some kids having one last snowball battle before Mass" he thought to himself with a grin, remembering his own youth!
Again he heard: "THUMP"..."THUMP".... "THUMP", but this time against the glass of the new bow window just installed this past fall! He figured he'd better stick his head out the door and have a chat with the kids before things got out of hand. When he turned on the front light and looked out the door there was noone in sight at all. Convinced that he needed MORE rest and relaxation than he thought, he returned to his paper, his fire and his (now) luke-warm raspberry hot chocolate.
No sooner did he sit down, then once again, the "THUMPING" started; but this time it was harder and more frequent. Determined to confront whoever was playing games with him and robbing him of his solitude, he bundled himself up, went out the back door and around the house to 'catch 'em in the act'!!
As he made his way around the house in the blustering wind, and snow storm, he marveled as he recalled how, in his youth, he was impervious to such trivialities!
He rounded the west corner of the house and could see plainly the front landing and the bow window that he was attempting to protect. His plan of attack worked! There were the villians right there in plain sight!! Much to his surprise however, it was not a snowball fight at all ... it was a group of cold, frantic birds.
The "THUMPING" he heard, was their feeble attempt to find some shelter from the biting storm that raged wildly. Jim's heart melted at this pittiful sight!! He ran to the barn, and put on the light, hoping that they would notice and take shelter in there for the night ..... but HOW to get them IN there? He ran in the house, grabbed a loaf of bread and made a trail of crumbs from the front door to the barn, but - to no avail. He turned off the front door light and paraded back and forth from there to the barn with a flashlight, hoping the birds would follow him, but his strange presence only served to frighten them and add to their misfortune.
Finally, in his frustration, and knowing that if he didn't do SOMETHING to save them, they would surely DIE ... he got a broom and attempted to SHOO them into the barn. Unfortunately, this caused more havoc than the other attempts, and left Jim standing there feeling completely helpless.
As he was mulling over his feeble attempts and trying to find a way to make the birds UNDERSTAND that he was trying to help them and bring them to safety, he realized that whatever he did only served to frighten them. He thought: "If I could only just become ONE OF THEM, then they wouldn't be afraid of me, and I could make them understand that I was only trying to ......... trying to .......... "
At that very moment the Church bells rang, Jim realized that this was exactly what Jesus had done for humankind. He became ONE OF US so He could SHOW US THE WAY to salvation ("safety"). Jim fell to knees in adoration of that Little Babe in the Manger and thanked God for the Precious Gift of His SON on the first Christmas, so very long ago!!
(He also started going to Church with the family on a regular basis! )
not the end .... it's just ........... the BEGINNING :-)
May the New Year be especially kind to US ALL!
Eternal Father, may Your Will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
Beg the Holy Spirit to engulf the minds and hearts of all mankind to be open to the Truth, Love,
Mercy and Goodness of Christ our Lord, Savior and Triune God!
When you pray ... do not forget your friends and loved ones; both here on earth and those that have stepped into eternity.
May the Good Lord shower His most Choice Blessings on those that love Him and
open the hearts and minds of those that are selectively blind and deaf.
May He have mercy on us all!
Keep the wicks trimmed and the oil lamps full!
The song says: "A Child, A Child shivers in the cold, let us bring Him silver and gold ..."
Let us all, on this Christmas Eve and throughout our lives, not give Him what the WORLD considers valuable, but let us give Him what TRULY IS VALUABLE and that which He desires MOST ... our love for Him and for each other. We have but to open our hearts to invite Him in ..
He waits always ready to enter! God bless us, yes ... EVERYONE! ;)
Merry Christmas and may the New Year be especially kind to us!