"What was it like in your generation?" the boy asked, shrugging slightly.
The old man folded his arms, wrapping them in his cloak. "I was much, much too old to be a builder. Yet I set out to build the best ark that I could with the strength remaining in me. I built for years without a single soul out of an entire generation coming to lend a hand, besides the help of my immediate family. I also gave repeated warnings in an attempt to spare any who would listen, but even my closest friends grew dull of hearing. They shut their ears to the truth. Multitudes realized too late that I had been extending them an invitation to receive grace before the window of opportunity closed. Some tried to save themselves, climbing to the temporary safety of higher ground above the rising waters. In the end, there was no place on earth other than the ark that would save them from perishing."
The boy silently hugged his knees. Despite his reservations, he found himself starting to enjoy the old man's story and suspect that what the angel had said was true.
"I grew up hearing stories of Enoch, my great-grandfather," the old man revealed. "It was said of him that he lived among the angels. The birth of his first son, Methuselah, caused Enoch to walk with Abba until he was translated, taken alive to heaven three centuries later. The initial revelation that Enoch had was of something so cataclysmic that it affected the naming of his son, marked the rest of his life, and caused him to prophesy about the coming holy ones.
"In his footsteps, I, too, walked with Abba. My father passed away five years before the Flood. That year, the year of the Flood, was the last that I ever saw my grandfather, Methuselah, the oldest man to ever live—nearly a millennium. I woke up in the ark one morning only to realize that every living human I had ever known, outside of my family, was gone."
He let out a sigh and stroked the dove, still perched on his shoulder, before concluding, "At least we were safe. We had ..."