Once upon a time, there was a man who considered Christmas an incomprehensible tale.
He was a kind and tactful person, loving with his family, honest in all his relationships with other people. However, he couldn’t believe in the incarnation. He was also too honest to pretend to believe it.
At Christmas Eve his wife and their children went to church for midnight Mass.
“I’m sorry, but I won’t come with you”, he told. “I cannot understand the statement that God was made man. I prefer to stay at home. I’ll wait for you and we will take something warm together”. His family went by car, and it was beginning to snow. The man went to the window and watched the flurries increasingly dense and heavy. He returned to his chair close to the fire and began to read his book. After a few minutes, he was surprised with a thud, immediately followed by another, then again by another. He thought that somebody was throwing snowballs against the window. When he went to the door to check, he saw a flock of birds fluttering in the storm looking desperately for a shelter and, attracted by the light, they crashed into the window. Many ended up on the unconscious on the ground.
“I cannot let these poor creatures lie there and freeze,” he thought. “But how can I help them?” He remembered the shed that he didn’t use anymore: it could be a warm shelter. He put on his coat and his boots and stomped through the snow, heading to the garage. He opened the door wide and turned on the light. But the birds didn’t enter.
“A bit of food will attract them,” he thought. So he went into the house to get breadcrumbs, which he scattered on the snow in order to make a pathway to the shed. But the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flutter increasingly numb in the blizzard.
The man began to wave with his arms, but the birds, frightened, scattered in all directions, except into the warm and lit shed. “They see me as a strange and terrifying creature,” he said. “I just terrified them more. How can I tell them that they can trust me? “. A strange thought struck him: “If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could save them.”
Just at this moment, the church bells began to ring. He was silent for a while, listening to the bells.
Then he fell to his knees in the snow. “Now I understand your incarnation, Lord.” He whispered. “Now I know why you had to do it.”
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (John 1,14)
Bruno Ferrero, l’iceberg e la duna (ed. Elledici).