Did the Invisible Man in the Sky save his followers in Tampa only to drown others in Fort Meyers?

The celestial chuckle of god

As the Tampa Bay area on Florida’s west coast prepared for what was expected to be a direct hit from Hurricane Ian, Bishop Gregory L. Parkes of St. Petersburg invited all in the diocese to pray to God “for the protection of life and property as we face this serious threat,” according to the Catholic News Agency.

At the same time, the Miami Herald reported that Collier County commissioners ended their meeting with a prayer for the people of Tampa. “There’s a lot of reasons for us to be praying these days, especially with anybody that’s been watching the Weather Channel,” said commission chairperson William McDaniel. “So keep our friends in the northern (part of the state) and in Tampa and such in our prayers as well. They’re staring at this thing right now.”

Did god answer both prayers?

Would Collier County have offered the same prayer if they had known god’s answer to their prayer for Tampa Bay would be Hurricane Ian’s sudden shift east? Tampa spared but Fort Meyers destroyed?

In Greek mythology, Tithonus was the lover of Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. He was a prince of Troy. Eos approached Zeus with a request to make Tithonus immortal. Zeus granted her request, but carelessly or deliberately failed to mention that she should also request eternal youth. Tithonus eventually aged into a small pile of dust with his only cry that he be free from immortality.*

The story of Tithonus is a reminder: Be careful what you pray for.

Does that hold true for the Christian god as well? The bishop in Tampa and the county commissioner in Fort Myers — like Tithonus — had their prayers answered.

The Invisible Man in the Sky must have had a celestial chuckle when he literally answered both prayers.


  • Zeus eventually took pity on Tithonus and changed him into a cicada so that Tithonus only had to endure immortality once every 17 years.



Scorched earth writer on the Florida Gulf Coast. Non-practicing Bokononist.

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James Leftus

Scorched earth writer on the Florida Gulf Coast. Non-practicing Bokononist.