Recently a writer in a nationally known newspaper opined that the answer to poverty in Appalachia was for the people to go and live in a city where they could get work! In a country where the majority of the population is so mobile, it's hard for a stranger to understand that we have deep roots in these hills.
Abraham and his family, in a time when travel was extremely difficult and rare, were even more rooted to their own land. How terrible, then, was God's call to him: "Go forth from your land and your birthplace and your father's house to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1 in Robert Alter's fine translation)" Yet Abraham left. We ask him to pray for the refugees of our time who have left their homeland forever.