A Catholic Monthly Magazine

God Became Man?

by Barbara Linton

This story was shared with me: There was a religious sceptic who worked as a farmer. One raw winter night, the man heard scuffling sounds against the kitchen door. He went to a window and saw tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the light and warmth in the house, beating in vain against the door.

Touched, the farmer put on his wet-weather gear and trudged through the fresh snow to open the barn door for the struggling little birds. He turned on the lights and tossed some hay into a corner. The sparrows scattered in all directions when he came near. Afraid, they hid in the darkness.

The man tried different ways to get them into the barn. He laid down a trail of bread crumbs and seeds to direct them. He tried circling behind the birds to drive them toward the barn. Nothing worked.

A huge alien creature, he had terrified them. The birds couldn’t understand that he actually desired to help them.

The farmer withdrew to his house and watched the doomed sparrows through a window. As he stared, a thought came to him: “If only I could become a bird – one of them – just for a few moments. Then I wouldn’t frighten them. I could lovingly show them the way to warmth and safety”.

A moment later, another insight dawned on him. He had grasped the reason why Jesus was born and why Christians celebrate his birth each year.

In quiet, let’s ponder this paradox. A man becoming a bird is nothing compared to God becoming a man. The concept of a sovereign eternal being, the creator of the universe, confining himself to a human body was, and is, too much for some people to accept. How could the eternal, all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing God communicate with us?  Yet he, because of his great love for each and every one of us, did just that, by coming down to earth and becoming human in every way. Jesus is “Our Way, our Truth and our Life”.


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