The people's voice of reason

On Remembering

It’s among the shortest verses in the New Testament, and it’s also filled with some mystery. Jesus said, “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32). Mrs. Lot is a minor figure in the Old Testament. We don’t even know her name. We only know she looked back at the burning Sodom and died

Some believe this word is about disobedience; that is, God told Lot’s family not to look back and that’s all we need to know. In this regard, it would be like our first parents in Eden who were told not to eat of the tree of the know-ledge of good and evil. We don’t know exactly why, other than it was a matter of obedience to God.

Others see this as a warning about second thoughts. This interpretation is that Mrs. Lot looked back with sadness. She left Sodom, but Sodom was in her heart. This is akin to Jesus’ word about putting our hand to the plow and refusing to look back.

We should remember many things, including those whose fingerprints are on our souls. So many men and women invested themselves in us by being patient and teaching us about life.

I recall teachers in junior and high school who did this for me. Mrs. Carlotta taught me to love history and Miss Petty taught me to love good grammar and good literature. Dr. W.T. Edwards taught us Greek at Samford University. We’d say, “Dr. Edwards, this material’s over our heads!” He’d reply, “Boys, raise your heads.”

I had Sunday School teachers who taught me to love scripture. I’ve never met a Sunday School teacher who was paid. These men and women volunteer to study the Bible and communicate its great truths to us week by week.

I remember godly deacons and pastors who loved me and encouraged me to find God’s will for my life. These men would sacrifice anything to support the youth ministry, and this is true in most churches. And deacons were always in their place as helpers to our pastors.

A man in a pensive mood thought of a favorite teacher in high school. He found her address, took pen and paper and sent her a note of gratitude. A few days later he discovered a letter in his mailbox with a familiar penmanship.

“Dear William,” she wrote. “Your note came on a cold, dreary day, and cheered me as nothing else had done in so long. You’ll be interested to know that in my 40 years of teaching, yours is the only note of appreciation I’ve ever received.”

Many of us are fortunate to have some folk around who invested in us. Perhaps we ought to take time to say thanks.

Reflections is a weekly devotional column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster, Ala. The church's website is


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