Mom got up early Sunday morning and got the kids ready for church. Dad sat in the living room, reading his newspaper and looking out at the snow.
They'd had the conversation before, but nothing had changed. "Why don't you go with us this week?" she asked. He didn't look up from his paper.
"You know why," he said out loud and then in his own mind finished the answer with "A truly great God wouldn't care about puny humans anyway."
The man replayed the argument in his mind: "If God is so perfect and great, why would he care about helping us? If God is so powerful, why would he make his son become a human being? Why would he stoop so low to help us.... if God is really so great."
The house was silent except for the sound of the logs crackling in the fireplace. From the other end of the house came a strange thump.
The man put down his paper and walked down the hall. Outside the window huddled a group of birds. In confusion and fear, they had flown into the window pane and fallen to the ground. They huddled together in the snow trying to figure out what to do next. The man felt sorry for the birds. He thought to himself, "The birds could go in our barn and they'd be warm there." So he went outside and opened the door to the barn. Then he waited in the cold. The birds didn't move.
"I know, I'll shoe them over to the barn door," the man thought. But as he tried to herd the birds to the barn they simply scattered. Only after he left them alone did they come back to their spot in the snow.
The man had one last plan. He went back in the house and got a loaf of bread. Carefully, he tore off pieces of bread and made a path to the barn door. But the birds just huddled closer together, ignoring the gift of life which the man was offering.
Stumped, the man stood looking at the birds, wondering just what it would take to get them to safety. He thought to himself, "If only I could become a bird and lead them to safety, then they wouldn't have to die."
He stopped and thought about it again. And he finally understood.