I heard a story once. I cannot recall where this is from, or even f I’m telling this correctly. But in light of the current political climate, it is appropriate.
There once was a very devout religious couple who found themselves in the midst of a flood.
They cut off, from evacuating, so they climbed on their roof and began to pray.
A little while later, an Army National Guard truck pulls up and yells for them to get in. They refuse. “God will save us,” they say. So the truck drives off and the water continues to rise.
The water is now quite high, and a motorboat with a state patrolman pulls up. “Get in,” he says.
They again refuse. “God will save us,” they say.
“But the river!”
“God will save us,” they insist.
The motorboat sails off.
The river continues to rise, moving swiftly. The couple climbs up and clings to the chimney. A Coast Guard helicopter appears and swoops down, then lowers a basket. “Get in!” says the pilot over the loudspeaker.
The couple waves him off. “God will save us.”
“But the river is rising fast!”
“God will save us!”
The building collapses under the weight of the floodwaters, the couple is swept away and drowns.
Shortly after that, the couple is in Heaven, waiting their turn to enter the Pearly Gates. They reach the front of the line, St. Peter looks them up and says, “I’m sorry, you can’t enter. You’re suicides. You’re headed somewhere else.”
The man protested. “But we lived our lives for Him. We did everything for Him, even to the end. We even believed He would save us.”
St. Peter checks the book. “Oh, yeah, I remember you two. Rooftop, ‘God will save us.’ right?”
The couple nods.
“You stupid schmucks. We sent a truck a boat and a God-damned helicopter. What more did you want, an engraved invitation and a choir of angels singing from on high?”
The story is, of course, apocryphal. The idea is that if you ask for assistance from a higher power, it may arrive in ways that seem ordinary and mundane, but will still accomplish the job.
Many Americans elected a man because they believe he’s going to provide them some sort of miracle answers. The answers are going to come instead from smaller, grassroots efforts, ones that probably won’t be tied to efforts by either party, but to those of people who only want to make a better country, a better world. The concern is that for the first time in the modern history of our nation, the coterie of people in charge of the government seriously does not care for its well being, for making it that better country or a better world. They care only for enriching themselves, at the expense of its citizens. That scares many.
In a time like this, what would reassure would be a leader who would understand that even if he was opposed, he should still reach out to try to work with any opposition, rather than ridicule, dismiss and inflame them. But this new leader is a man who does not want to lead all Americans, just those most loyal to him.
I guess we’ll just have to watch for… help. Because I kind of doubt God will save us.