Genesis 19:1-29 (The Message)
24-25 Then GOD rained brimstone and fire down on Sodom and Gomorrah— a river of lava from GOD out of the sky!—and destroyed these cities and the entire plain and everyone who lived in the cities and everything that grew from the ground. 26 But Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.
I write from my home, from this rural area where one can hear dogs barking in the distance, where the sounds of cats fighting over a few crumbs in the garbage dump reach me. This land is not exempt from violence, death, poverty and neglect. And so, from my heart, from the place where hope springs, from unity, happiness and my faith, from the resurrection and from the promise of re-birth, I invoke and evoke Lot´s wife.
Yes, I invoke this woman who was called “stubborn,” “foolish,” “deceitful” and even “stupid” for her decision to look back.
However, what human being, what self-proclaimed “Christian” or adherent to any other religious tradition, doesn´t dare to turn their head and heart in the direction of the groans, laments, and desperate shouts that could be confused with barks, bellows and roars of animals that are experiencing a living death? How can we not look back to the place where history has been made, where friendships have formed, the land for which we have sacrificed, sweated and hungered is being destroyed? How can we not look back to the place where our relatives are buried in death and oblivion? Where infants, youth, adults and the elderly are swallowed up by death´s unquenchable hunger?
I invoke and evoke this valiant and nameless woman. She is nameless precisely so the women of today and all of history add their names and dare to look back. She is nameless so that as men, we also dare to look back to the place of pain, where we have never dared to look back before—to the place that holds our wounds and weaknesses, those that do so much damage to our bodies and the bodies of others.
My dream is that as men and women we look at our reality together in order to transform it, to reconstruct the story of life from the rubble and the waste that the exterminating fires of political, religious, cultural, capitalist and neoliberal fanaticism have left.