He leaned against the toppled wall and surveyed the scene. The tremors and explosions from the night before had stopped now. Billows of smoke hid the horizon; smoke that originated from the valley below. An occasional whiff of sulphur assaulted his senses. His herdsmen slowly gathered near him to see.
“Sir, do you suppose anyone is left down there?” one asked. “My brother and cousin live there.”
“I can’t see how there could be. Looks bad. Maybe when the smoke clears we can go down and see for ourselves. My nephew lived there too.” He breathed deeply and exhaled slowly. “We need to be about our business. See to the herds, now. We’ll repair the fences once they’re settled.”
“Yes, Sir. You are correct. May God have mercy your nephew and his family.” The herdsmen returned to their duties.
One last look at the scene and Abram, too, returned to his duties. The conversation from the previous night replayed again in his mind, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it."
“So there weren’t even ten.” he said aloud.
“What was that, Sir?” she asked. “Did you say something to me?”
“Oh, no. Just thinking about Lot.”
“Yes, I know. Could you see anything down there? Anybody?”
“No. Too much smoke. The men and I will go down later. It was such a beautiful place, but the people--so vile. I pled for them with my Lord.” He looked down, stroked his beard and then looked at his wife. “I gave Lot the choice and he chose the valley. What if he’d chosen this?” He motioned toward his pastures.
“Then we’d been in the valley, I suppose.” she answered. “Would you have stayed there as Lot did?”
“I don’t know. I’d like to say I wouldn’t have, but the land is, or was, very fertile. God in His wisdom protected us. But what of Lot?”
“I cannot say what the Lord would do, but he has been kind to you always. And to me. Perhaps He was kind to Lot for your sake. We cannot understand His ways.”
“You speak properly of God.”
“Abram, He also promised you a son. Next year. I do not know how that can happen. We are both too old. What do you suppose He meant? How will He do that?”
“You, who just spoke such wisdom, now asks such silly things. You heard Him. He heard you as well.” He saw her blush. “Perhaps we should believe Him again even if we don’t understand His ways.”
“Ah, yes. We should.” she said. “The time for the meal is here. I must insure the maids have prepared all properly. Will you be taking your meal here or with the men?”
“With the men today. We have much work to do repairing the fences. Then we shall go down to Sodom to look for our families.”
“We have mended the fences, Sir. Should we bring the donkeys so we can go to Sodom? It is well past midday.”
“Yes. It should not take long to see if anyone remains alive. Gather the men with brothers there. Let the others stay with the herds.”
The small expedition wound its way down into the valley. They had to dismount and walk since the roads had been obliterated by falling debris. The donkeys slid on loose rock. “The road is gone, sir. How will we get down? No one could’ve gotten away after it started last night. No one.” The men shook their heads in dismay.
“Anyone remember this being here before?” one of the men shouted. He pointed toward a glistening five foot salt pillar. “I’ve traveled this road often and never saw it before. Looks a bit like a woman.” He grinned staring at the new addition to the landscape.
“Does in a way, doesn’t it. We must not go any further. The light is going and the trail is gone. Why should we perish as well?”
All agreed and turned back; the smoldering valley floor left unexplored. “We saw all we needed to see.” Abram said to the men. “The Lord found it as He’d heard and swept it away.”
Abram returned that evening tired, saddened. Had Lot been spared? He did not know.
“Abram, why don’t you spend the evening with me? Maybe I can console your spirit.” his wife suggested as she pulled back the door to her tent. He joined her that evening.
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