The Man and the Birds


One of my favorite stories of Christmas was given by Paul Harvey, a famous radio personality. I have provided you with two avenues to this story. First,  you can read it. secondly, you can listen to it. My preference is to listen. You really cant get the jest of the story unless you can hear in Paul Harvey’s voice. He was quite a story teller and  those of us who remember him really miss him at 12:00 noon every week day.


Paul Harvey’s Story

The man to whom I’m going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn’t believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn’t make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn’t swallow 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. That he’d much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And 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 and then went back to his fireside 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 thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

 Birds In Snow

Birds In Snow
vmburkhardt.tumbler.comWell, he couldn’t let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it.

Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow 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 bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them…He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them 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 could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me…That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, 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 could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm…to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand.”

 Church Bells

Church Bells

At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells – Adeste Fidelis – listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

And he sank to his knees in the snow.

Paul Harvey ~ I hope for you…and those you love… this will be a wonderful Merry Christmas.

Good Day!                                                                                                                                       Christ IS:    The Way In A Manger


31 thoughts on “The Man and the Birds

  1. This story was key in teaching me about the significance of the incarnation of Christ. I’ve used the illustration since, but didn’t know where I originally heard it. Thanks for sharing!

    Thank you, also, for following Lessons by Heart. May the Lord richly bless your work here on the Internet and may the harvest be great!

    Another Grandparent in Christ,
    Praising Jesus for grandkids – a chance to redeem our inept parenting!

    • Hey Tami! Thanks for following my blog as well. Your blog is wonderful and I look forward to seeing more. I love your gravatar. It reminds me of my family in Louisiana when I was growing up. Everyone held guitars and sang gospel music and had dinners on the ground. I remember vividly having an all day gospel singing on the Governors Maison grounds. Can’t do that anymore as they have a wrought iron fence around it now. My uncle used to play his guitar and harmonica at the same time. Thank you for blessing me with your blog.

      • How fun! I miss holiday meals. While the women cleaned up the dishes, we sang some wonderful old songs in harmony. I have musical kids…but they’re scattered to the four corners of the states. 😦

        May this Christmas season be filled with fresh wonder for you and yours.


  2. Thanks for sharing this story and the like for one of my posts. Your blog is really beautiful with the falling snow and great header. May your Christmas be special!

    • Thank you so much! You can get the falling snow as well. If I remember right you go to setting and there is a place to check it and start it . It’s good until January 4th. Merry CHRISTmas!

  3. Hi Andy we seem to have the same focus when it comes to Christmas Stories, I just shared this one on our Christmas Blog a few days ago (see link below) it touched my heart too, I received it from a friend a few years ago by e-mail as I have with a lot of my stories but I don’t always know the Author as so many use them but than I don’t use them for monetary gain.

    God and the Geese

    Love your Tree Andy, at the top of your Blog, it is so beautiful thank you for sharing it.

    I’m having such a wonderful Christmas Andy, as I shared with you and a few other Blogging friends, I’m visiting the Elderly in a Nursing Home now, some have Dementia and only know me the day I visit but others remember me and my Power points, which take them outside their four walls , yes there is sadness too as some never see their families but mostly they don’t complain, they greet me with a smile and leave me with a smile.

    Many blessings to you Andy and those you Love , may the Beauty of Christmas past and the Joy of Christmas present, fill your heart with Love that overflows all year.

    Christmas Love from both of us – Anne

    • HI Anne! It is so good to hear from you! I am so sorry that I have not written sooner. Please forgive. I am thankful that you are having a really good Christmas. I knew that you used to visit the nursing homes and I think it is wonderful that you are going back. I go with my wife several times a week to visit her Dad. Its amazing how the human body just slowly withers away. Yesterday he didn’t even know who we were until I started talking about his old home place and some pictures I had taken to bring when I got them printed off. His eyes lit up and a great bid smile. He was wide awake and started talking more. I know the people you visit really love you for how you add some light to their darkness, especially at Christmas. I try to read all your post. You always put a smile on my face with your writings. God Bless you and Ron this CHRISTmas. With CHRISTmas Love, Andy

    • I thought I sent you a reply on this comment. I don’t see it. Did you get one from me? Let me know. Maybe I sent it as an email? I’m so sorry Anne!

      Have a wonderful CHRISTmas !

      • Hi Andy you seem to be having some Blog problems going by the Post I just received from you, it had a lot of formatting in it and I can see your reply to my comment above not sure why you can’t.

        I had an accident but will be in touch soon.

        Blessings Anne.

      • Thanks Anne! I think I got it fixed, I don’t know what causes that but I always have trouble with it. I’m sorry to hear you had an accident. I pray all is okay. I will be looking for your email. God bless and have a wonderful Christmas!

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