Scripture doesn't tell me what her name is, just that she was disobedient. That's the sum total of what she's remembered for. She looked back at her town, burning behind her.
Did she slow down, just for a second, twisting her head the teensiest bit while she was running for her life, thinking a little look wouldn't hurt. Was she afraid her past was hot on her heels, catching up with her?
Much like my father, when God said it, he meant it. And you didn't ask why. Instantly she turned into a pillar of salt.
In my mind I picture her - long, brown hair flying behind her, skirts gathered up into her hand so she wouldn't be slowed down, sandals slapping against the ground, terrified at what was behind her, and ahead. How did she feel? How would I have felt if an angel had grabbed my hand and pulled me along, telling me not to turn around.
I like to think I'd charge ahead, never look back, but who knows for sure? My track record so far indicates I could be a little salty too.
What made her turn around, look back? It wasn't like Sodom was a great place to live, so why? I'd think she was glad to be going, like when we finally sold our house at the lake, or the one in Virginia whose pipes froze every winter, but maybe she was sad at what she'd left behind and scared out of her wits that she was running into the unknown. I get that. Good riddance to where I've been but I'm not at all sure of what's ahead of me.
I have to wonder, was the rest of her family even aware she'd been changed? Did they ever know Mom had turned into salt? It seems to me they would all have been running straight ahead, and maybe some were behind her to see her change, but what about those who'd outrun her, who were ahead? They'd all been told, "escape for your life! Do not look behind you...." I have to assume they never saw her again, even though she was only feet behind them.
Maybe God let her run at the front of the pack, lead the way, as a sign to those coming behind? Sort of like my older sister and brothers. I mostly learned what not to do by watching them, or at least I learned how to not get caught. (I'm thinking of hiding packs of cigarettes in my bedroom, or coming up with stories of why I was late for my curfew....) Lot's wife didn't have the luxury of anyone else's example - one teensy twist of her neck and she was done.
There's much in life I've left behind, for good and bad. People, places, things, hopes, dreams, failures, memories. Some were easy, good riddance: that group I still call 'the mean quilters', bad boyfriends, a few 'friends', orange tube tops, and that awful, green car that had a stick shift I never mastered. There was also my first Barbie with the beautiful black hair and tiny white pearl earrings, the houses I brought my babies home to, women who became my forever friend, the last swing set and sand box, and the porch I sat on, chomping on chips and salsa out of anger and frustration at a husband who was doing the best he could, but working crazy hours that made him never home.
Surely there is value in considering the past, learning from the mistakes and treasuring the moments, and God has indeed equipped me to turn to the side a little bit, for a little peek, maybe. But there's a reason I don't have eyes in the back of my head, just the front for looking out at now and the future that lies ahead of me.
I don't want it said of me, summing up my life, 'but Bev looked back.'
(1) Genesis 19:17 & 26; Luke 17:32