Paul Harvey tells a modern parable about a religious skeptic who worked as a farmer. One raw winter night the man heard an irregular thumping sound against the kitchen storm door. He went to a window and watched as tiny, shivering sparrows, attracted to the evident warmth inside, beat in vain against the glass.
Touched, the farmer bundled up and trudged through fresh snow to open the barn door for the struggling birds. He turned on the lights and tossed some hay in a corner. But the sparrows, which had scattered in all directions when he emerged from the house, hid in the darkness, afraid.
The man tried various tactics to get them into the barn. He laid down a trail of Saltine cracker crumbs to direct them. he tried circling behind the birds to drive them toward the barn. Nothing worked. He, a huge, alien creature, had terrified them; the birds couldn't comprehend 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 hit: If only I could become a bird - one of them - just for a moment. Then I wouldn't frighten them so. I could show them the way to warmth and safety.
At the same moment, another thought dawned on him. He had grasped the reason Jesus was born.
A voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." - Matthew 3:17