Looking back


It all started when her husband came home that evening with two strange men who he had offered a place to lay their heads that night. They were obviously strangers. They still looked clean and fresh as though they were unburdened with the stress of rearing livestock under the heat of the desert sun. She wondered who they were and where they came from. Her husband didn’t volunteer much information. He was more interested in hurrying her to prepare their meals. That wasn’t a problem. With the help of her daughters she sprung up a feast and was happy when the men had eaten and were satisfied.

Then the men started coming. It was as if they had called a meeting to round up the most vile among the men in the city. They pounded ferociously on the door. Their demand was simple. Her husband would have none of it. He pleaded with them to take his two daughters instead for the two men were under his protection. She didn’t want that fate for her daughters but she was too scared of the men to protest. They were notorious for their trouble making. Their voices went louder. They wouldn’t back down. They wanted to break down the doors. That was when she saw the most remarkable thing she had ever seen in her life. It was as if sudden blindness came upon those wicked men. They groped in the darkness trying to find their way back to their houses.

“Quick,” the visitors said, “we were sent to destroy this land.” That was when she and her husband understood who they were. These were not ordinary men. They had just entertained Angels in their home. “Take nothing and don’t look back,” the men said. “You must leave immediately. Only call your family members.” Their daughters’ fiancees thought it was a joke. They wouldn’t move an inch out of their land.

There was no doubt about the seriousness of the words the Angels spoke.  There were so many things to think about. What to take and what to leave. They weren’t given much time. The Angels grabbed their hands and led them out of the land just before they started seeing liquid fire dropping from the sky on the land they once called home. What would happen to the property they had accumulated over the years. What would happen to their livestock, her jewellery and the rest of their valuables? How could they let go of those things when they didn’t know what lay ahead of them? The choice was simple, life first before property for everything else can be regained as long as there is life. It seemed like a simple choice but it was not so simple to her. She couldn’t stop thinking that it was much easier to live in Sodom and Gomorrah no matter how much evil existed there than to go into the unknown. She turned back to take one more look at the city she once called home. Then it happened as though in a flash. She found herself rooted to a spot. She knew life had gone and death had come. It was all she could do, stand there staring in regret, unable to go forward and still  unable to move back. She wondered if people would ever know her name or if she would only be known as ‘the woman who looked back and became a pillar of salt’.

Are you one of the pillars of salt we see today? Are you standing rooted to a spot, refusing to let go of the past and yet unable to change the past? Do you desire to move forward but thoughts of the past keep drawing you back? The instructions are simple, ‘Forget the things of the past for behold I will do a new thing.’ Every moment you spend holding onto the past will keep you standing at the same spot like a pillar of salt for a very long time. Now is the time to move on and leave the past behind.

Have a pleasant weekend.


Gen 19

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