Wednesday, October 2, 2013
In Her Sandals -- Lot's Wife (2nd blog)
The conversations that ensued that night were some of the strangest by far. Of course, I wasn’t part of them, but I could hear what they were saying – not that I was ease dropping. The guests told my husband that he needed to get his family together and leave because Yahweh had sent them to destroy this place. Why would Yahweh send them to destroy Sodom? Sure, they got a little out of hand tonight, but really? He’s going to destroy the whole city? Then Lot went and spoke to our future sons-in-law and told them the town was about to be destroyed, and they would need to get their things together so we can leave. Those bone-headed men thought Lot was joking! Who jokes about something like that!? I mean it’s still hard for me to believe, but I would never joke about such a thing. Lot and the guys talk most of the night, but he can’t convince them to leave.
It had been a sleepless, fretful, stressful night, and as the sun started peaking over the walls of the city, it became evident that our guests were really angels. Why had I not recognized that before? Lot had brought home guests who are really angels, angels of the Most High God. I’m trying to process everything, but nothing is making sense. I’m so confused. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep, stress, but why didn’t I see it before. They are telling us to go because they have a job to do, and they can’t do it unless we are safely out. Say what!? One of them grabs my hand and grabs one of my daughter’s hand. The other grabs Lot’s hand and our other daughter’s hand, and forcefully leads us out of the city just as the sun rises from the east.
They tell us to run. They tell us to go to the mountains because it just isn’t Sodom they are going to destroy. It’s the whole Jordan plain. Run. I’m supposed to run to the mountains, back to where Lot’s uncle lives. I can’t make it that far. I’ve put on a few pounds since moving to Sodom. Sodom. There was this butcher who kept his prime meat for me to buy on Wednesdays. My house servant made the best bread. Today is Thursday. I’m going to miss my women’s league meeting. I look down and realize I have on the same clothes as I did the day before. My stuff. All my stuff is still in Sodom. The girls’ dowry is there. My heirlooms from my mother and her mother. My silk tapestries. My designer shoes and bags and…It’s all gone. Just like that. Gone. All these things are swirling through my head at the same time.
Lot tells the angels we just can’t make it to the mountains. I didn’t want to go running back to his uncle anyway. Lot asks if we can just stay in Zoar. I don’t know why but that makes me feel a little better. Zoar is a small community outside of Sodom. Since we live on a plain, I will be able to make out Sodom on the horizon. I can go back to Sodom in time. The angels instruct us not to look back – do not turn back to Sodom. We enter Zoar, and the angels disappear.
Morning has come. We are safely in Zoar, this small, no-nothing town when we hear it. I hear cracking and rumbling. Oh my heavens! The stench is rancid and so sudden. When the wind blows, it’s horrible. I cover my mouth and nose with my clothes. We aren’t far enough away. I hear them. It’s faint, but I recognize it immediately, and I know my friends are in excruciating pain. All those people in Sodom and animals screaming out in the most horrific sounds I’ve ever heard. I don’t know that I’ll ever get that sound out of my ears. White stuff starts flying through the sky. It’s ash. All my things, all of my life is going up in smoke!? Really?
Why can’t we turn back? Why can’t we see what’s going on? What’s going to happen if we do take a peak? All these thoughts are bouncing around in my head at once, and I hear a large collapse, and I turn…
In the split second that I saw Sodom, I saw the most horrific, gruesome thing. Fire coming from heaven. Fire coming from the ground. People, babies, animals walking around, dropping in heaps of fire. All the buildings were on fire. The trees were on fire. There wasn’t anything that wasn’t on fire. I was hit by the smell of burning, human flesh and sulfur. It was the quickest of glances, and then nothing.