Saturday, February 16, 2008

One of my favorite stories

A man sits in his kitchen, listening to his favorite radio show when an emergency announcement comes on warning of an approaching flood. The announcement recommends all residents leave their homes immediately and seek higher ground.

The man immediately falls to his knees and begins praying to the lord for safety. He prays and prays and after a while, he hears the water rushing toward his valley home and opens his eyes to see water quickly filling up the first floor of his house. The man makes his way to the roof, continuing to pray for safety, and spots a helicopter overhead. The helicopter operator gets on the loudspeaker and tells the man to grab onto the ladder so he can be taken to shelter.

"That's okay," says the man. "The lord will save me." The helicopter operator begs the man to climb on, but the man is steadfast in his conviction and the helicopter flies away. Seconds later, the man's roof begins to give way, and the man calmbers into a tree just as his home crashes into the water. As his grip begins to slacken and his arms start to severely tire, a policeman comes by in a boat and calls out to him. "Climb aboard!"

The man again refuses, insisting the lord will save him. The policeman tries to move the boat closer to the tree, but the man's grip finally fails him and he falls to his death. Upon dying, the man meets the lord and, with sincere confusion, says to the lord, "God... why did you forsake me? I prayed and prayed for you to save me, but you never did. Why?"

The lord smiled and shook his head. "My son, I gave you a warning over the radio, but you did not leave the valley. Then I sent a helicopter, but you did not climb aboard. I even sent you a boat and a policeman... what more could I have done?"

Today my helicopter was a small boy in the grocery store. An infant of roughly eight months, with bright eyes, dark hair, and a beautiful, joyous smile that lit up his whole face. He looked at me as if he knew me - an excited grin and a sharp focus that locked onto my face, after which his mouth exploded into a huge smile and he seemed on the verge of happy giggles... like old friends greeting each other after a long absence in ecstatic reunion. He interrupted a flood of worries and helped shift my perspective just as I was feeling most alone.

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