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The Swallows
by Stephen A. Peterson
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The Swallows

Stephen A. Peterson

Jay Moyer lived in the city of Shawnee, Oklahoma. He was a man who believed that if anyone believed that Jesus was God was a fool. He sincerely believed Jesus was great only because He knew magic tricks. Jay considered the possibility of God but he was not sure of God’s existence. His wife, on the other hand, was a devout Christian. She raised their children to know, love and serve God as their supreme purpose in life and their most important duty. Jay often gave her a very difficult time and mocked her for being a practicing Christian. His pressure on his wife’s religious observances was especially harsh during Christian holiday seasons.

The seasons Jay hated were Christmas and Easter. Christmas more so than Easter simply because people did more to celebrate Christ. As she prepared to take their children to Christmas services on a cold, snowy Christmas Eve, she plead with him to come but he firmly refused. Jay ridiculed the idea of Christ’s birth to a virgin as stupid nonsense. “Why would God lower Himself and become a human? What does it matter if a woman is a virgin or not? The whole story makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! Either God is stupid, ignorant or both. Christmas is, by far, the stupidest holiday of all times.!!!” So she and the children left for church while Jay remained at home to mock Jesus even more.

After his wife and children left, the winds grew stronger and snowfall turned into a blizzard. The wind blew so hard that it seemed like there might be a winter tornado. As Jay looked out the window all he could see was snow. So he sat in his easy chair to watch a late night movie and mock the very idea of Christmas. No sooner then he had sat down to enjoy a John Wayne movie, he heard a loud bump against his living room window. Jay jumped in fright out of his easy chair to find out what had almost broken his window but he could not see anything. So he slowly and cautiously opened the door to venture outside. In the field near his house he saw a flock of swallows that usually fly south to Mexico to the warmer weather but were caught in the blizzard. The snowstorm
had become so bad that were lost and could not find their way.

Jay felt sorry for them and wanted to help. He thought, “The metal building where I keep my lawn cutting equipment would be a great place for them. I could warm the place up and put some food out that swallows like to eat.” So he walked the short distance to the metal building and opened the doors for them. He waited, watching them, hoping they would notice his gesture of good will and go into his metal building. But they just fluttered around the tree aimlessly. They did not seem to notice the metal building or realize what Jay’s gesture meant. So Jay began to whistle and call to them to come down and stay in his metal building. They did nothing. He shouted, jumped up and down, waived his arms and whistled once again. Still they did nothing. Jay moved closer to the trees where they roosted but they moved away to a tree further away from his metal building. He went into the house to return with bread and bird seed his family used in the bird feeders around the house. Still the swallows never moved towards Jay to accept his free gifts. Frustrated, Jay tried to frighten them into entering the metal building using his football noise maker and megaphone. None of his tactics succeeded in getting the swallows to move out of the storm into his metal building where there was warmth, food and protection from a storm that became increasingly worst not only for these birds but Jay himself.

Jay screamed, “Why don’t you listen to me? Why don’t you dumb birds do as I tell you? What’s wrong with you? Can’t you birds see that if you don’t get inside this storm is going to kill every last one of you!”

Jay thought for a while then concluded that there may be nothing he could do to save these magnificent birds. “What could I do to save them from certain death and destruction. The only way would be for me to be a swallow just like them. If I could become a swallow then I could save them. I could become their leader and they would follow me. They would trust me and I could lead them to safety, food and protection for them from certain destruction and death.”

Jay stood for a few minutes as he thought about what had just crossed the recesses of his mind. “If only I could be just like them, I could show these birds this place of safety, food and warmth. I know I could save their lives.” Moving out of the blizzard into the protection of his house, Jay thought about what his wife had said to him on more than one occasion—That Jesus had to become a human like them to save humankind. At these times, Jay considered his wife’s belief stupid nonsense. But as he looked helplessly out his window, thoughts of his wife’s words began repeating themselves in his mind.

Soon Jay came to understand that Jesus had to be a human to save humankind from death and destruction because humankind was unable to save itself. He also came to understand that like the swallows humans were lost, blind and would perish unless someone would lead them to safety.

As soon as Jay came to realize the meaning and purpose of Jesus having to become human to save humankind, the snow and winds suddenly lessened and became still and quiet. Looking out the window, there were no signs of swallows ever being on his property. Tears weld in Jay’s eyes. He had come to know why Jesus had come. The many years of doubt, disbelief and anger were shattered as he fell to his knees on this cold winter morning to ask for forgiveness and peace of heart and mind.

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