The following is a partial reprint from a 4/22/2009 article of the same name written by WSJ contributor Brett Arends. [more]
It was Easter in the midwest. There was a man who had been in a family where his wife and his children were Christians but he was not. And he rejected it. He sat home that Easter morning in the den doing the Sunday NY Times crossword puzzle with a fresh cup of coffee. It was unusually cold and dark outside because of a rare late Arctic storm and the blowing snow was beginning to dust the ground. His wife and the little children had gone to the chapel in the nearby village for a "sunrise" Easter service to honor the Christ they loved. Meanwhile, he had started a roaring fire in the fireplace.
All of a sudden he heard a loud and repeated thumping. He thought someone was banging on the door. He went to the front door and opened it but found no one was there. By the time he got settled back into his chair, he heard it again and again. And he was bewildered as to what was causing it until he realized that something seemed to be smashing against the window. So he went to the drapes and he pulled the drapes aside. To his amazement, a flock of birds was flying into the window. The snowstorm, you see, had blown in very quickly. And the birds had been caught away from their shelter and they couldn't find their way back. They couldn't fight the wind. They saw the lighted window, and the warmth of the light had attracted them. And they were literally flying into the glass trying to get to the light to get warm. They would freeze to death, you see, if they didn't find some shelter.
Well, the man who had refused to go with his family to the Easter service because he had no interest in the Jesus of Easter was all of a sudden very compassionate for these poor birds. So he wondered how he could help them. And so he opened the door and went out in the cold and tried to chase them away so that they wouldn't kill themselves against the window. And then he ran to the barn and he threw the barn doors wide open and he whistled and he shooed them and did everything he could to get them to fly to the barn, but they wouldn't do it. He even went so far as to take some corn and some bread and make a big trail from the window to the barn. And the birds wouldn't follow it.
In frustration, he said to himself, "If I could just communicate with them. If I could just tell them that I don't want to hurt them, that there's warmth and there's shelter and that they need to stop beating themselves to death against the glass. But I'm a man and they're birds and we don't speak the same language. Oh, if I could just become a bird, I think I could tell them."
And then it hit him. And in that moment, the whole meaning of Easter dawned on that man. Mankind had been beating itself to death against the barrier that kept him from the warmth of God's love until somebody became a man and told us the way. [more]