When a good friend called the other night, I was not surprised at the news she shared. She told me that she and her husband were separating. I had sensed that this might happen and it was important to listen and to love. What she focused on was not the past or all the reasons for the decision. She talked more about the scary future, the uncertainty, the unknown.
Abram and Sarai in today’s reading are called in their senior years to take a journey filled with uncertainty and unknowns. “The LORD said to Abram: ‘Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.’” All this at 75 years old, as scripture says. And he goes. He knows he must go. He becomes a migrant.
Think about all those today who are leaving the land of their kinsfolk in today’s massive migration of peoples. For whatever reason, they leave knowing the journey is dangerous and the destination uncertain.
Would I have had the courage of Abram? Can I imagine what impels a person to become a refugee? Can I guarantee that all will be well for my friend? No. What I can do is, as the Gospel requires of me, “Stop judging, that you may not be judged…. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye?” I pray that I can be attentive to those who embark on an arduous journey and place them all into the care of a merciful and loving God. May He lead them safely to wherever their journey takes them.
Robert Hotz is a consultant with American City Bureau, Inc. and was the Director of The Passion of Christ: The Love That Compels Campaign for Holy Cross Province.