The Parable of the Sparrow

This parable was told in the presence of Paulinus, and he later used it to convert King Edwin of Northumbria to Christianity.

This is how the present life of man on earth, King, appears to me, in comparison with that time which is unknown to us.
You are sitting feasting with your ealdormen and thegns in wintertime.
The fire is burning on the hearth in the middle of the Hall and all inside is warm. While outside the wintery storms of rain and snow are raging – and a "Sparrow" flies swiftly through the Hall.
It enters in at one door and quickly flies out through the other. For the few moments it is inside, the storm and wintry tempest cannot touch it, but after the briefest moment of calm, it flits from your sight.
Out of the wintry storm and into it again. So this life of man appears but for a moment. What follows, or indeed, what went before, we know not at all.
Paulinus, the people's apostle in the north