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There were two figures found in Pompeii, Italy where it was unearthed from the terrible volcanic flow from Mt. Vessuvious. One was a sentinel. He was standing erect and tall in his place of watch at the city gates. His spear was burnt into his hand. His sword was there at his side. His helmet was in place. There the lava had frozen him in time for us all to see. The other was a woman. Her feet were turned toward the gates of the city. It is clear she was trying to escape, but though her feet were turned in the right direction her body was turned toward Pompeii. Her hands were outstretched toward the ground. Just beyond the reach of her fingertips was a bag of pearls.

Possibly she had dropped them. At any rate, she had lingered too long. A second of indecision can make all the difference in the world. I did for her. And now we all think of the words of Jesus, “Look and remember.”

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