A Farmer and His Geese
(Last edited: 5/29/08)
There was a man, a farmer who didn't believe in God, and never
hesitated to tell others how he felt about religion and religious holidays
like Christmas. His wife, however, had strong faith and raised their
children to believe in God and Jesus despite her husband's disparaging
One snowy winter his wife was taking the children to the Christmas Eve
service in town. She invited her husband to come; but he refused, saying,
"That story is nonsense." &nbs p;Why would God lower himself
to come to earth as a man? It's ridiculous!
So she and the children left and he stayed home.
Awhile later the wind began to pick up and the snowfall turned into a
blizzard. Looking out the windows, all the farmer saw was blinding snow.
He sat before the fireplace, hoping his wife would have enough sense to
in town until the storm passed. Suddenly he heard a loud thump that shook
the house slightly; then another thump like the first. He leaped ;up and
went to the window. Outside he could see nothing but the driving snow;
he bundled up and went out onto the porch.
Through the snow he could make out about a dozen wild geese, milling
around in his yard. Theyâ€™d been overwintering in the
woods down by his
pond, and the heavy wind and snow had apparently driven them away from
the sheltering trees. Now they were lost and confused, and being battered
those forces. They would likely be injured or killed out there.Â
didn't want that to happe n.
The barn! There, he thought, with the warmth of the other animals, the
geese could ride out the storm. So he struggled over to the barn, opened
the big door and waited, expecting them to recognize safety and goinside.
But the geese had no idea what the man intended, and tried to huddle
together for protection. He beat on the barn door to get their attention;
but that didn't do anything. He went back to the house and got some
bread, laying a trail of pieces from the flock to the barn. That did
nothing either. Finally he tried to shoo them toward the barn; but that
only frightened them more and they moved further away from him and the
barn. Nothing he did could get the geese into the barn, where they would
be warm and safe.
Can't they see, this is the only place they can survi ve the
storm? he exclaimed in frustration.
Then recognition came to him. The geese just won't follow a man!
If I was a goose, I could save them, he thought. That wasn't
possible, so he did the next best thing. He went into the barn, picked
one of his farm geese and carried the scared bird out into the yard,
circling around the wild flock to the side away from the barn. There he
turned his bird loose. Honking and flapping its wings, his goose made
beeline into the&n bsp;barn. One by one, the wild geese followed.
When all the geese were safely inside the barn, the farmer stood alone
his yard, very satisfied with what he'd done. He remembered the thought
that made it happen, If I was a goose, I could save them. In the next
instant, he recalled the derisive words to his wife, "Why would God
himself to come to earth as a man?"
Suddenly, it all made sense.
Two thousand years ago, mankind was like the wil d geese lost,
confused, and perishing. God could have changed that without any effort
all. But then we wouldn't understand and believe in Him. That's what
Christmas is all about.
The farmer sank to his knees in the snow and said the first prayer since
he was a child.Thank you, God, for coming to save me.