Erin's Journals

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Just a thought… To think well and to obey someone giving good advice are the same thing. [Herodotus]

Welcome to Tuesday and the last week of this wicked month. I hope the day finds you well, keeping your mind and hands busy. And if you’re out there working on our behalf, thank you, thank you, thank you!

And as we’re seeing again and again in pictures posted on social media and in footage on the news, some people are just refusing to listen to the advice – the instructions – to stop gathering in groups and to stop endangering themselves and others.

In Tampa Bay, an idiot minister was arrested (and released immediately on $500 bond, undoubtedly still warm from his suckers’ – I mean followers’ – pockets) for holding services on Sunday in his mega church, even busing congregants to get there. Like lambs to the slaughter who believed this guy when he said he had a virus-killing air system. Where did he hear they exist – in a Trump tweet?

It reminded me of a story I’d like to share with you today as I attempt to bring some positivity here instead of letting myself sink into the depression that is only ever just a few dark thoughts away. It was a joke that Don Daynard told years ago, and I’m telling it in longer form here as more of a fable. Keep going to the bottom; there’s a special picture I shot yesterday from my chair.

One spring morning, upon awakening and seeing rushing rivers where his street should be, a man grabs his ladder and climbs up onto the dry roof of his house and watches in awe as the brown water inches up his siding.

“Please save me,” he prays to God.

Two hours later, as the water reaches the window sills of his second floor, a man in a yellow slicker comes by in a boat and shouts through the rain and the wind, “Climb down and get in! I’ll take you to dry land!”

The man on the roof shakes his head, explaining that God will save him, and waves off the man in the boat, who, bewildered, leaves to rescue a stranded neighbour.

That afternoon, as the rains continue to pelt and the winds roar, a woman in a powerboat pulls up to the man’s roofline, where the waters have now risen. “Come on – get in the boat and I’ll drive you to safety!”

The man shouts through the storm, “No, no…I’m staying here. God is going to save me!” So she shrugs and off she goes to rescue a grateful family waving frantically just three houses down.

Darkness descends and the relentless torrents bring river levels beyond the man’s eaves. Cold and murky water numbs his soaked feet and he shivers, crouched on a minuscule patch of roof yet spared from the rushing river. Through the storm, he can make out the droning motor of a boat coming his way; soon another would-be hero reaches out with an oar and implores the man to grab on and get in, man!

He stubbornly shakes his head and refuses the help, saying God will save him; the driver of the boat bows his head, waves and departs to find anyone else in peril.

A short time later, the waters completely swallow his house and the man drowns.

As he enters Heaven, he sees God. The man is angry and confused to have died, and can’t understand why he’s here.

Shaking his fist, he says to God, “I had faith in you! Why didn’t you save me?”

And God responds, “My son, I sent you THREE BOATS.”

Boats are everywhere. They’re not just ships named the USNS Comfort (amazed it wasn’t rechristened USNS TRUMP, to be honest) – they’re people offering advice and science and help to us all.

We have to take it. We have to listen. As CNN’s Don Lemon said on Sunday, believe in whomever or whatever you want, but “the virus doesn’t care who you worship.” There’s a lot of people out there trying to surf during this storm and it’s not going to end well for them, or the people with whom they come into contact.

Please stay safe, stay sane and stay dry. I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

And I’ll leave you with a picture of the man who’s rescued me more times than either of us can count, sitting editing our next podcast, as nature tried its best to distract him yesterday afternoon.

Rob WhiteheadTuesday, March 31, 2020