Following yet another mass murder in the U.S., we were reminded of the old parable that seems particularly relevant to us right now.

We can keep waiting for God to save us, or we can use the power, the abilities, and the good sense that he gave us to save ourselves.

Put another way, you’d think we could develop sane gun safety laws that take  weapons of war from our neighborhoods, that prevent the massing of weapons and ammunition, and that respond to the overwhelming support of Americans in favor of strong, logical policies to prevent gun violence.

Here’s the parable (you’ll remember it) that we thought of after the San Bernardino killings as so many politicians’ pro forma responses were merely to offer their prayers for the victims:

A man was trapped in his house during a flood. He began praying to God to rescue him. The water started to rise in his house. His neighbor urged him to leave and offered him a ride to safety. The man yelled back, “I am waiting for God to save me.” The neighbor drove off in his pick-up truck.

The man continued to pray. As the water began rising in his house, he had to climb up to the roof. A boat came by with some people heading for safe ground. They yelled at the man to grab a rope they were ready to throw and take him to safety. They shook their heads and moved on.

The man continued to pray and the flood waters continued to rise. A helicopter flew by and a voice came over a loudspeaker offering to lower a ladder and take him off the roof. The man waved the helicopter away, shouting back that God was going to save him. The helicopter left. The flooding water came over the roof and caught him up and swept him away.

He drowned.

When he reached heaven and asked, “God, why did you not save me? I believed in you with all my heart. Why did you let me drown?” God replied, “I sent you a pick-up truck, a boat and a helicopter and you refused all of them. What else could I possibly do for you?”