Mostly a Good Man

Reading Room

The man whom I’m going to introduce to you was not a scrooge. He was a kind, descent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, kind and generous to his fellow man, but he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff, which the churches proclaimed at Christmas time. It just didn’t make sense, and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t follow 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. 

He said he’d much rather stay at home but that he would wait up for them. 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, then went back to his fire side 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 though that someone must have been throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the door to investigate. He found a flock of birds huddled in the snow. 

They’d been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter, they had tried to fly through his large landscape window. Well he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze and he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a good source of shelter if he could lead the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes and tramped through the deepening snow and went out 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 breadcrumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the wide open yellow lighted doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the breadcrumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried to catch them. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around 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 can think of someway to let them know they can trust me. That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Cause every move he made tended to frighten them, and 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 can tell them not to be afraid. Then I can show them the way 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 sounds reached his ears above the sound of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells, listening to the bells to glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.