Nothing to do with residents of the Gulf Coast, just something I need to get off my chest.
Once upon a time there lived a man, of whom all you need to know is that he lived in an area prone to flooding, and was very devout. It happened that the man heard a radio broadcast saying that there were severe floods expected in his area, and that residents should prepare to evacuate. “It’ll be all right,” the man said. “God will protect me.”
He watched in mild amusement and just a hint of superiority as his neighbors arranged for buses to come and carry them and their posessions away. As they prepared to leave, they came to him and said that they had gotten more space than they needed, and that there was enough for him and his bags if he wanted to come. But, no, he replied, “God will protect me.”
When they were gone and the flood waters began to rise, the man’s faith was not shaken. As the water poured over his porch, he retreated to his second floor, where he had a balcony, and sat in almost perfect contentment, marred only by the sneaking suspicion that, had God really wanted to, He could have saved his hardwood floors as well as himself. And as he sat, a woman in a motorboat came by and offered to help him out of the flooded area. “It’s only going to get worse,” she warned him, but at last she shook her head and departed in the face of his assertions that “God will protect me.”
But the waters did indeed continue to rise, and eventually the man was forced into his attic, and then out the attic window to the very roof. As he perched between his chimney and the slope of the roof, a helicopter flew overhead, and the people inside lowered a rope. But the man refused to climb, and at last they were forced by lack of fuel to leave him. As they flew away, he called after them, “Don’t worry! God will protect me!”
But in the end the water covered his roof, and swept him away, and before he found any other place to pull himself out his strength failed him and he died. He was unsurprised to find himself at the Gates of Heaven, where a welcoming angel informed him that he, as a resident of the Holy Realm, was welcome to talk to God whenever he wished. So he, who was vexed by an unworthy doubt, asked to be ushered into God’s presence as soon as He was free, and this was done.
God appeared to him, and he fell to his knees, crying, “Oh Great Lord”–forgetting that the Creator of the Universe has little need or desire for worship–“I had faith in You and You abandoned me! I am happy to be in Your Realm, but I’m not sure I wanted to be Here so soon. Why did You let me drown?” And God regarded him, as puzzled as an omniscient Being can be, and replied, “I sent you a radio report, a bus, a boat, and a helicopter. What more did you want?”