God and the Geese

geese in a snowstorm.jpg

There was once a man who didn’t believe in God, and 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 have faith in God and Jesus, despite his disparaging comments. One  snowy eve, his wife was taking their children to service in the farm community in which they lived. They were to talk about Jesus’ birth. She asked him to come, but he re­ fused. “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 win­ dow, 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 win­ dow. 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 could have been beating on his win­ dow. In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn’t go on. They were lost and stran­ded on his farm, with no food or shelter. They just flapped their wings and flew around 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 wanted to help  them. The  barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It’s warm and safe; surely they  could spend the night and wait out  the  storm. So he walked over to the  barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, 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  with some  bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn’t catch on.

Now 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 real­ised 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 one­by ­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 want to be like us? That’s ridiculous!”

Suddenly it all made sense. That is 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.

 

Story from the website of the Antio­chian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines

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