One wintry evening somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere, as the sun slowly set on the horizon, its last rays tinting the snowy scene, one small cottage nestled in the rolling hills. Its chimney sent up a steady stream of smoke, mingling with the descending snow-flakes.
Inside, by the lit hearth, sat a silver-haired woman, a Bible on her knee. It was Christmas Eve, and she read a passage about the first Christmas night. Intermittently she muttered,
“I don’t understand, Lord...” I don’t understand…”
And again she bent over the weathered pages.
Presently, laying down the holy book on a side table, stoking the fire, and adding another log, she leaned back into the leather chair and closed her eyes, her mind reconstructing the scene: a lonely stable in an Oriental prairie, a clear, cold night, a dignified man, a princely maiden, an ox and a donkey, and, in their midst, laying in a troth, lovingly filled with fresh hay, a babe who was God.
“Why, o, why did You, Lord, who are the Almighty, the Creator, infinitely above your creatures, become a man like us? Wasn’t there some other way?” the good soul now asked aloud, as she looked up at the crucifix above her fire place.
Just then a noisy racket jolted her from her revelry. Looking out the window, in the waning light, she saw a flock of geese just landed in the back yard. They were obviously off-course and quacked in confusion.
“Those geese!” she thought with alarm, “they will freeze!” Of course, geese don’t freeze easily, but she didn’t know it.
Running into her old garage, she opened the door and began waving them in. But the more she beckoned the more the frightened creatures distanced themselves from her.
Finally in frustration she exclaimed,
“If only I was one of you, you foolish creatures, you would trust me, and I could save you!”
It had stopped snowing. Just then the leaden clouds parted, revealing a patch of azure sky and a bright star twinkling down on the snowy earth. The woman smiled up into the night,
“I get it, Lord, I get it…Thanks for becoming a man like us so you could convince us to come in from the cold …”By A.F. PhillipsPainting by: Botaurus