Lot’s Wife

by melissakiefer

I received my “important tax document” in the mail from Reitz Memorial High School a few days ago. I gasped. I remembered. Exactly a year ago, I moved eight hours north after teaching my very last January. A year ago? Already? Only? I often think about those change-of-the-semester students I only knew for one month. I hope they understand why I was so guarded and did not invest in them as I should have. I hope the students who still write me know how much they are loved. How sometimes it’s too hard to respond. I think about my children who are seniors. My babies who will be seniors next year. My AP and Themes class young adults who are graduating college. And I’m still stuck in a love affair with their brains and creativity, their human stories and their souls.

Memorial High School was not Sodom or Gomorrah. Other than a couple of perverted boys who took pictures up my skirt, some bullies and some mean girls all high schools are allotted, a former principal who drove us all mad, and a few classes straight out of Hades, I know I can find more than ten righteous people in that place. Hundreds more.  

 But God’s plan was to take me to a different land with my husband, a foreign strange land with different opportunities. And I am the nameless wife. Because I lusted after a former life I made an idol. In looking back, I turned into a pillar. A statue of salt. Unmoving. Stuck.

In the book Mended by Angie Smith, the author dropped a pitcher on the floor. On purpose. Then she hot-glued the pieces back together. The result wasn’t pretty, but the pitcher was mended. Shattered and mended and changed.

Changed. When one is a frozen salt pillar, one has plenty of time to think. So I thought about how I’ve changed. And what it means to be a wife.

I learned how to infuse gratitude into each little granule of salt-statue-me.

I never liked that Lot guy. He never tried to shake his wife back to life. My own husband? He would have knocked down the pillar. Collected every particle, every tiny grain. He would have poured the remnants in his pocket for safekeeping before fleeing. Leave no comrade behind. Even one appearing lifeless. Even in spite of my sin. Even when I’m wild-eyed, all fight and flight and stumbling sideways and looking back.        

But we journeyed forward. I put all the pieces of me back together best I could with masking tape and an old half dried-out glue stick. I have many rough places. Cracks. Holes. Gaps. They allow light in; they let love and soul and honesty and truth pour out. And sometimes I dump out a little salt from my shoes, shake out a little salt still stuck in my hair. As a reminder that I am seasoned by so much grace.