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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Don’t Look Back (04/19/12)

TITLE: The Angel's Advice
By Hiram Claudio


The journey had been long and tiring.

Just a few days ago, life was simple and predictable. With going to the market, tending to the children, and dealing with their community all seemed normal. Then, in a moment that now anchors deep in his heart, everything changed. He’d been running for what seemed like ages. Exhausted, both physically and emotionally, he stopped to rest when a stranger walked by.

“Peace to you my friend”

“You too pal.”

“My name is Anock. What’s yours?”

“Uh … I’m Tol.”

“You look exhausted. Been traveling long Tol?”

“A little. Recently had to leave home in a hurry. See that billowing smoke over the ridge?”

“Yeah, what happened there?”

“Long story. I was given a warning to flee the city quickly as it was about to be destroyed.”

“Destroyed? Wow. Are you okay?”

“I’m still a bit shaken. I lost everything … my home, friends … everything.”

“Are you alone?”

“Well, that’s probably the hardest part. I lost a lot in that city. But the thing that was most dear to me I actually lost as I was leaving.”

“What was that?”

“My beloved wife. I lost her as we were fleeing.”

“I’m so sorry. Some type of accident as you were leaving?”

“Not exactly. We were warned by an angel that the city was going to be destroyed. I’ll be the first to admit that the way people lived there was somewhat less than decent.”

“If that smoke is a response to the evil in it, I think ‘somewhat less than decent’ is an understatement.”

“Fair enough. Anyway, we were told to leave, to flee. To run as fast as we could.”

“So what happened?”

“Well, we were also told one other thing. We were told specifically to … not look back.”


“Yeah, it did seem strange but the instruction was clear. Leave the city and make sure, no matter what, to NOT look back. So we ran. Then fire and hail started to rain down on the city. The smell of burning coal was everywhere, as were the horrific sounds of people dying. But I did as the angel told us … keep running and don’t look back.”


“I guess my wife couldn’t resist. She stopped. She must have been overwhelmed by the moment or perhaps there was a longing for our former life in her heart or simple curiosity. I don’t know. Whatever the case … she looked back.”

“What happened to her?”

“In an instant, she was gone. I heard her crying and then … nothing. I wanted to look in her direction but that would’ve required looking back. So I backed up and saw a pile of salt on the ground.”

“Salt? Wow! I’m really sorry.”

“Me too. I miss her so. But the angel’s message rang so clear in me. Guess I can’t blame someone for not being curious about what was going on. Can’t change it now though.”

“Well, honestly, it does seem harsh.”

“At first I thought so too. But my uncle always told me growing up that the key to living a life in peace with God is to obey His commands. Yet he would always remind us to never underestimate the consequences for not doing so. He’d always say, ‘God gives commands, not suggestions.’”

“You uncle sounds like a very wise man.”

“Yeah, uncle Abe is the best. I’m trying to find him now.”

“Well, if I see him in my travels, I’ll tell him you’re looking for him Tol.”

“Thanks but … um, he won’t know me by that name.”

“Oh? What’s your real name?”

“It’s Lot. I guess I was still a bit shaken by the whole thing. So I reversed the letters in my name. If you see my uncle, tell him Lot is looking for him.”

“I’m so very sorry for all that has happened to you.”

“It feels so different. Life seemed so simple a moment ago. Now, I’ve lost everything. I guess the reality is not everything. God is still here. I’m thankful He’ll be with me as I try to get through this.”

“But, aren’t you angry at Him?”

“A little. Okay, maybe a lot. But I won’t resolve anything by turning away from Him. Besides, He blessed my family with a way out. Blaming Him for my wife not being is pointless … and, in truth, it’s not accurate.”

“You do your uncle proud, Lot. Peace on your journey, my friend.”

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This article has been read 381 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Genia Gilbert04/27/12
Interesting and well written. It makes me think of a very familiar story in a more personal way. Thanks
C D Swanson 04/27/12
Beautiful account of what Lot may have been feeling as he fled his city that was destroyed. Well written and on topic, good job. Thank you for bringing Lot to life.

God Bless~
Laura Manley04/29/12
Excellent writing on a story we are all so familiar with. It was nice to see what might have happened with dialogue between the two. This entry read smoothly and kept my interest from the very beginning.
Laury Hubrich 04/30/12
You did a good job with this story. One thing I never thought of before until I read this: really, Lot should have been responsible for his wife, right? Why didn't he keep her looking forward, I wonder? Hmmmm... It would have been hard not to look back except I would have been to scared to disobey. I'm a rule follower:) Nice job on this story!
Dannie Hawley 05/01/12
I just love this modern take on Lot's side of the story. Excellent and creative job.
Amanda Brogan05/01/12
At the part about the billowing smoke from the city, I knew that it was Lot's story ... and then I realized what you had done with the letters of his name. Quite clever. ;)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/01/12
This is a work of pure genius. I have read many stories about Lot and his wife this week but your POV was delightful. You did a marvelous job bringing the story to life. It's good to have empathy and try to imagine what it would have been like for Lot. I giggled a bit about the walking backwards. I guess there is always a loophole when God loves us. That's why he gave us the greatest loophole of all time-Jesus. Great story.
Ada Nett05/01/12
I agree with the comment above, the walking backwards was a very interesting thought. Good job with this interesting story.
Leola Ogle 05/02/12
A well written, fresh take on a familiar story. Good job. God bless!
Graham Insley05/03/12
I thought this was very well written except for the dialog about Lot's wife dying. It lacked emotion.

If he did not get on with her I would not expect a song and dance, but even that would create an emotion; perhaps a guilt. But for me, this needed a little more at that point in the story.

In every other way, all credit to a great job.
Edmond Ng 05/03/12
An interesting way of putting the biblical event in a story. Nicely written. God bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/03/12
Congratulations for ranking 11th in level three!